California Penal Code §211 makes it unlawful for any person to take personal property that is in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by force or fear.
Several different elements must be met before a person can be convicted of robbery.
One element is that the personal property must be in the possession of another. The person from whom the property is stolen must have actual possession of the item.
For example, Danny and Walter are standing on a street where a brand new car is parked. The car does not belong to Walter. Danny steals the car and drives off with it. Walter cannot be a robbery victim. Similarly, if an item has been lost and abandoned with no owner, then the item is not known to be in the possession of another.
Second element is that it must be taken from a person or in their immediate presence. The person must be present when the property is being taken. For example, Victoria works at a jewelry shop. While Victoria is at work, someone breaks into her house and steals her things. This is not a robbery, it is theft. The person is not within the immediate presence of Victoria, nor are any of the items stolen in her immediate presence.
The items that are stolen must be stolen with force or fear. The person must threaten the other person or take the item forcefully. For example, David comes up to Victor and asks that Victor give him his ipod. Victor hands it over and David runs away. This is not a robbery, because there was no force or fear. In comparison, David stops Victor and take out a knife. He asks Victor to give him all of his money or David is going to stab him. There is now an element of fear and an element of force if David grabs Victor’s wallet and take the money himself.
A robbery charge is a very serious charge and warrants serious consequences. A person who is convicted of a robbery will face a certain amount of years in state prison, a fine and probation. There are many different types of charges pertaining to robbery, including many different degrees. Additionally, there are also sentencing enhancements like California Penal Code §12022.
When a person is charged with a robbery, they need to consult an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney right away. They need the best representation because if convicted of a robbery, it will go on their permanent record. A robbery is a crime that reflects negatively upon a person’s character because it requires willful taking of property. Fight the charge with the most powerful defense and argument available to you.