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Los Angeles Robbery Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers in LA Representing the Rights of People Accused of Robbery

If you’ve been accused of Robbery in California, you are facing extremely serious legal consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence. You need to retain robbery defense attorney in LA as soon as you can to protect your legal rights.

A robbery conviction can have serious consequences for you and your future. Robbery is particularly serious, as it’s a crime committed against a person, rather than a piece of property. Unlike a property crime such as theft, all robbery charges in California are felony charges, which are extremely serious and could affect you for the rest of your life. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, call the Law Office of David S. Chesley today at 800-755-5174 or contact us online.

Robbery Charges in California

Robbery is the taking of personal property of another person from their presence using force, violence, or intimidation. Some examples of situations where you could be charged with robbery include:

  • You threateningly asked a person for his or her wallet
  • You pulled a purse off of a woman’s shoulder walking down the street
  • You demanded and took money from a man walking on the street while pressing a hard object into his back

The unique facts and circumstances of the act in question will determine the degree of the criminal charges and the possible punishment.

The Elements of a Charge

The state must have sufficient evidence to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to be convicted, all of the following elements must be shown by the prosecution:

  1. Property of another was removed by the defendant
  2. The property was in the owner’s immediate presence at the time of the removal
  3. The property was taken without consent
  4. The property was obtained by physical force or fear of injury
  5. Defendant intended to permanently deprive the property owner of its use

A few distinctions to note are the definition of "immediate presence," which includes property within the owner's physical control that the owner would have maintained possession of had the robbery not occurred. Also, consent must be given by the owner's own free will and with full knowledge of what they are doing. Lastly, the requirement of physical force or fear of injury could be claimed by the property owner, a family member, the actual property, or another individual present during the incident.

If any one element listed above is not present at the time of alleged robbery or cannot be demonstrated or proven, the robbery charge will not result in a conviction. The serious nature of the crime using force or fear of injury requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Should the evidence present itself as such, you may be at risk for a varying degree of penalties, all of which likely require significant fines and jail time. It is helpful to work with a criminal defense lawyer in California who understands how to identify less reliable evidence, such as circumstantial evidence, in the prosecution’s case. A jury cannot convict you for a robbery charge unless they are completely certain the evidence is present to justify your guilt. That is why it is critical to consult with a lawyer about the facts and circumstances of your case as soon as you can after an arrest.

Degrees of Robbery Charges and the Associated Penalties

While all robbery offenses are felonies, the facts and circumstances surrounding the case determine the degree of the charge.

  • First Degree Felony Robbery – carries a maximum criminal penalty of $10,000 fine, nine years in state prison, restitution, and probation. Aggravating factors include:
    • The property owner was a passenger or driver of public transportation
    • The building where act committed was inhabited
    • The property owner recently withdrew cash from an ATM
  • Second Degree Felony Robbery – carries a maximum criminal penalty of a $10,000 fine, two to five years in state prison, restitution, and probation.
  • Armed Robbery – enhanced penalties for armed robberies involving the use of a weapon include ten years in state prison for use during the criminal act, 20 years if the weapon fired, and minimum 25 years if another person was killed or seriously injured.

It’s important to note California’s Three Strikes law, which includes robbery offenses. This law requires any prior conviction of a serious felony to be sentenced to state prison for twice the amount of time. If convicted of a serious or violent felony with two or more prior convictions, the law mandates a minimum 25-year prison sentence.

The consequences of a robbery conviction at any degree can have lifelong effects. A tainted record is more than an inconvenience, but a setback to your personal, financial and professional life. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you understand the full range of prescribed and collateral consequences that may apply to you.

California’s “10-20-Life: Use a Gun and You’re Done” Law

If you’re accused of using a gun in the commission of a robbery, it is important to be aware of Penal Code 12022.53 PC, commonly referred to as the “10-20-Life: Use a Gun and You’re Done” law. The law enhances the penalties to which people accused of certain crimes can exposed if a gun was involved. Specifically, it can add the following amounts of time to a robbery sentence:

  • 10 years if a gun was “used”
  • 20 years if a gun was fired
  • 25 years if a person was killed or seriously injured by a gun

GBI Enhancement

Another way a robbery charge can be enhanced is if you caused another person great bodily harm during the alleged robbery. This means that if you seriously injured someone during the commission of a robbery and are convicted, your sentence will be longer than it would have been had you not seriously injured someone. Whether a particular injury falls under the definition of “great bodily injury” is determined on a case-by-case basis.

An Attempted Robbery Charge

If your conduct does not fulfill all of the elements of a robbery, you may be charged with attempted robbery. In order to be convicted, the prosecution must prove you had the intent to commit a crime and took at least one direct step towards committing that crime. The penalties could include half of the county jail or state prison sentence and half of the maximum fine. You may be sentenced anywhere from 18 months to three years in state prison and required to pay up to $5000 in fines if convicted of attempted robbery.

Your Right to a Defense

The legal right to assert a defense allows you to explain or justify your alleged criminal conduct. Because it can be difficult to determine whether these or any other defenses apply, you should always have your case reviewed by an LA robbery defense lawyer before accepting a plea deal. Some common defenses to robbery charges include:

  • No property was taken
  • There was no use of force or of fear
  • You thought you had the permission or the right to take the property
  • The property wasn't immediately in the presence of the owner
  • Your conduct resulted because you were forced or under duress
  • You’ve been mistakenly identified or falsely accused

There are instances where the evidence against you may be suppressed due to errors by law enforcement, such as an unconstitutional search and seizure. An example of this would be property confiscated from your home by police with a search warrant that wasn't actually supported by probable cause, or an item was taken from your vehicle after a traffic stop conducted without sufficient cause to stop your vehicle. Other mistakes can be made in instances of a pretrial lineup where the victim mistakenly identifies you as the accused. Often, a robber wears a mask or other form of disguise to conceal their identity, leaving the victim to rely on height, weight, clothing, and other forms of evidence that can be challenged. Other misinformation or flaws in the prosecution’s case could build a strong defense to a robbery charge. An attorney with significant experience in this area of the law can discuss these options with you and help you strategize your defense.

Call the Law Office of David S. Chesley Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Los Angeles Robbery Defense Attorney

A felony conviction can permanently impact your life and the life of your family. It's natural to feel apprehension about your future after an arrest for a robbery charge with a potential conviction. Facing prison, fines, and other consequences are stressful – but a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can often help. The highest priority is securing the best outcome possible for your case. Avoiding a criminal conviction, or reducing your charge or penalties requires a comprehensive understanding of the law. Your case may be negotiated by a plea agreement or may be better served going to trial in order to protect your rights.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today at 800-755-5174 or fill out our contact form online for a free consultation.

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The Penal Code in California defines the severity of an offense and punishments by the value of the object or property stolen, and in the manner, it is stolen from the owner of the property.

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California’s penal code 211 defines robbery as the act of felonious taking of property or something of value from the possession of another person by force or fear.

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Petty Theft

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Recent Results

  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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