California PC 211 Prosecution – Robbery

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Are you Facing Charges of Robbery in California?

If you have been charged with robbery under PC 211, it is important to understand what the crime entails. Our top robbery lawyer at Wallin & Klarich, Matthew B. Wallin, shares with you what the prosecution needs to prove in order to convict you of this offense.

Robbery Under California PC 211

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Under California Penal Code 211 PC, robbery is defined as the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from their person or immediate presence, and against their will, accomplished by means of force or fear. In order to convict you of robbery under PC 211, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You took property that was not your own  AND
  2. The property was taken from another person’s possession and immediate presence  AND
  3. The property was taken against that person’s will  AND
  4. You used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the person from resisting  AND
  5. When you used force or fear to take the property, you intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or for such an extended period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property

If there is more than one victim involved, you can be charged with multiple counts of robbery for each victim present at the time of the robbery. This is true even if you took property from only one of the victims. However, if there was only one victim involved, you can only be charged with one count of robbery no matter how many items of property you took.

Taking of Property

You take something when you gain possession of it and move it some distance, no matter how short. The value of the property taken is irrelevant. Even you if you return the item that you took, the taking requirement has been satisfied for purposes of proving robbery.

Property was Taken from Another’s Possession and Presence

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In order to convict you of robbery, the prosecution must prove that the property was taken from the victim’s possession and immediate presence. A person does not actually have to hold or touch something in order to possess it so long as he has control or the right to control it. In addition, the victim does not need to be the actual owner of the property.

The prosecution must also show that the property was within the victim’s immediate presence. Property is within a person’s immediate presence if it is within his physical control so that he could keep possession of it if not prevented by force or fear. This means that the property does not need to be located on the victim’s person. Rather, it is sufficient to show that the property was in an area in which the victim could exercise physical control over it.

Against the Person’s Will

An act is done against a person’s will if that person does not consent to the act. Valid consent is only obtained if the victim acted freely and voluntarily while knowing the nature of his consent. If you obtained property with the victim’s permission, you have not taken the property against his will and cannot be convicted of robbery.

By Force or Fear

Under PC 211, the law requires that you took the property through the use of force or fear. Force is broadly defined any only requires enough force to overcome the victim’s resistance. For example, simply wrenching a purse from the victim’s hand can be enough force to constitute robbery.

Fear means the fear of injury to the victim himself or injury to his family or property, or immediate injury to someone else present during the incident or to that person’s property. For example, threatening to bash the car windows of the victim’s car if he does not hand over his wallet creates sufficient fear for purposes of robbery even though the threat was directed to an object rather than a person.

With the Intent to Permanently Deprive

The prosecution must also prove that you intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property or its use. This intent must be formed before or during the time in which you used force or fear to obtain the property.

First Degree Robbery and Second Degree Robbery in California

First degree robbery under PC 211
If the victim was using an ATM during the alleged robbery attempt, you could be charged with first degree robbery.

California Penal Code 211 separates robbery into two degrees depending upon the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense. To prove that you are guilty of first degree robbery, the prosecution must show one of the following:

  • The robbery was committed in an inhabited dwelling or building
  • The robbery was committed while the victim was using an ATM and was still near the machine
  • The robbery was committed while the victim was performing his duties as a driver of a commercial vehicle, or was a passenger therein

All other cases that do not involve the above circumstances are considered second degree robbery.

Contact a Robbery Lawyer at Wallin & Klarich if you have been charged Under PC 211

If you or a loved one have been accused of robbery in California, it is essential that you contact an experienced robbery lawyer.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you, no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

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