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#1 Los Angeles Robbery Lawyer | Cyrus Tabibnia


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The act of taking another person’s property by using force or fear is defined as robbery under California Penal Code Section 211. The use of force includes any form of physical contact, while fear is typically induced through verbal threats or hand gestures. For instance, if someone snatches a woman’s purse while threatening her with a knife, a robbery has occurred as the perpetrator used force and fear to take her property. The property only needs to be moved a short distance, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be under the suspect’s physical control for the crime to be considered robbery. If the property is moved by someone acting under the robber’s direction, including the victim, the taking element is satisfied. The severity of the legal penalties for a robbery conviction depends on whether it is classified as first or second degree robbery. If you are facing an accusation of robbery, it is crucial to seek immediate legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. The consequences of a robbery conviction can be severe, and a skilled lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and mount a strong defense. At Tabibnia Law Firm, we have a proven track record of successfully defending clients against robbery charges, and we are committed to protecting our clients’ rights and interests throughout the legal process. Let’s take a closer look at the legal definition, penalties, and defenses below.

Legal Definition of PC 211 Robbery

Robbery is defined by California Penal Code Section 211 as the act of feloniously taking personal property in the possession of another against their will, through the use of force or fear, from their person or immediate presence. The term “take” in this definition refers to gaining possession of the property and moving it any distance, even slightly. It’s important to note that physical possession of the property is not necessary for a robbery to occur, as constructive possession or control over the property is sufficient. Additionally, a robbery offense can occur if the property is taken directly from the victim in their immediate presence, meaning they had physical control of the property and could have maintained possession if not for the perpetrator’s actions. The use of “force” refers to physical force, while “fear” refers to inducing fear of injury to the victim, their family members, other people present, or their property. Finally, for a robbery to be considered a crime, the perpetrator must have intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently or for an extended period.

Elements of a Penal Code 211 Robbery Crime

To secure a conviction for robbery under California Penal Code Section 211, the Los Angeles County prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that all the “elements of the crime” have been met, including the following:

  • You took property that did not belong to you.
  • The property you took was in the possession of another person.
  • The property was taken from the victim or from their immediate presence.
  • The property was taken against the victim’s will or without their consent.
  • You used force or fear to take the property.
  • Your intention was to permanently deprive the owner of the property or to deprive them of it for a prolonged period of time.

If you are facing an investigation or have been charged with robbery, it is crucial to exercise your right to remain silent and avoid answering any questions from law enforcement. Instead, it is recommended to seek immediate legal assistance from our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm to understand your options and plan a defense strategy.

Legal Penalties for PC 211 Robbery

The severity of legal penalties for a conviction of robbery under California Penal Code Section 211 depends on whether it is classified as first or second degree robbery. First degree robbery is when the crime is committed against any person who is performing their duties as an operator of any bus, taxi, cable car, streetcar, trackless trolley, or other vehicle, or against any person who is a passenger on these vehicles. It can also be considered first degree robbery if it occurs inside a inhabited dwelling, or if the victim is using or just finished using an ATM machine. Robbery can be classified as first degree if the following circumstances are present:

  • The victim was a driver or passenger of a car, bus, taxi, or other form of transportation.
  • The robbery took place in an inhabited home
  • The robbery took place at an ATM

A felony first degree robbery conviction can result in:

  • a sentence of up to 6 years in a California state prison,
  • and a fine of up to $10,000.

Any robbery conviction that does not meet the requirements for first degree robbery, such as those that occurred in an inhabited home, at an ATM, or involving a driver/passenger of a vehicle, is considered a second degree robbery.

Second degree robbery carries penalties of:

    • up to 5 years in prison
    • and a fine of $10,000.

In addition to the base penalties for a Penal Code 211 conviction, there are several sentencing enhancements that can further increase your sentence. For example, if the robbery resulted in great bodily injury to the victim, California Penal Code Section 12022.7 allows for an additional 3 to 6 years to be added to your sentence. Another enhancement is California Penal Code Section 12022.53, also known as the “10-20-life use a gun and you’re done” law, which adds additional prison time for the use of a firearm during a robbery. Specifically, using a gun can add an extra 10 years to your sentence, firing a gun during the robbery can add an additional 20 years, and causing great bodily injury or death with a firearm during the robbery can result in a sentence of 25 years to life. It’s important to note that robbery is considered a violent felony and a “strike” under California’s three strikes law, which means that if you are convicted of two or more serious or violent felonies, you could face significantly harsher penalties, including a life sentence.

Legal Defenses for Penal Code 211 Robbery

The attorneys at our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm are well-versed in various legal defenses that can be used against charges of robbery in violation of California Penal Code Section 211. Some common defenses include:

  • No Force Or Fear: One possible legal defense that our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers may use against charges of robbery in violation of California Penal Code Section 211 is the argument that no force or fear was used. As force or fear is a critical element of the crime, prosecutors will often focus on proving that it was used to secure a conviction. If our lawyers can raise reasonable doubt regarding this element, they may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges or even have the case dismissed entirely.
  • Reasonable belief of ownership: The “claim of right” defense – This defense strategy involves arguing that you had a reasonable belief that the property you took belonged to you. Even if your belief turned out to be mistaken, the defense can still be viable as long as we can show that you genuinely believed you had a right to the property at the time of the robbery.
  • Lack of intent: The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently or long enough for the owner to lose its value. If the defendant did not have the intent to steal, it can be argued that there was no robbery.
  • Coercion or duress: If the defendant was forced to commit the robbery under threat of harm, it can be argued that they were acting under coercion or duress and therefore not responsible for their actions.
  • Mistaken identity: Our law firm’s criminal defense attorneys may be able to argue that you were falsely accused of robbery by the alleged victim who had a motive or agenda, such as revenge or jealousy. Alternatively, we may be able to argue that you were a victim of mistaken identity if the robber wore a mask and the testimony against you is unreliable. Ultimately, our goal is to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case and secure an outcome in your favor, whether that means a reduced charge, dismissal of the case, or acquittal at trial.
  • Insufficient evidence: If the evidence presented by the prosecution is weak or insufficient, it may be argued that there is not enough evidence to support a conviction.

Contact Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you have been charged with a robbery offense under California Penal Code Section 211, it is important to seek the assistance of our highly experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Tabibnia Law Firm. With decades of experience and a proven track record of success, we have the knowledge and skills to develop effective defense strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. It is crucial that you do not answer any questions from law enforcement without first consulting with a lawyer, as anything you say could potentially incriminate you. Contact us at 866-713-2159 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. We are providing legal assistance throughout the state of California, covering a wide range of locations, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Glendale, Torrance, Beverly HillsVan Nuys, Woodland Hills, Pasadena, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Ventura, Manhattan Beach, Whittier, Downey, Orange County, San Fernando, Riverside, West Covina, Lancaster, Pomona, Burbank, Inglewood, Norwalk, Palmdale, Monterey, Santa Clarita, La Puente, Walnut Creek, Westlake Village

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