Orange County Robbery Defense Lawyer
Under Penal Code 211, robbery is when you take a person's property from their body or immediate possession via force or fear. Robbery is considered to be the more serious of theft crimes and if charged and convicted, you can face several sentence enhancements, depending on your case. That is why you need to call the Orange County criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti right away.
Our legal team has more than a decade of successfully winning very difficult robbery cases for our clients in the courts of Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego. It is our goal to reduce or eliminate your robbery charges so your future is not permanently hindered.
Proving robbery took place means police and the prosecution must prove you took property that didn't belong to you from the owner's personal possession or immediate presence against said person's will using some kind of force or threat. They must be able to prove your intention was to deprive the owner of their property permanently or for an extended period of time. It's important to understand unlike other theft crimes, robbery is always charged as a felony, regardless of the value of the item(s) stolen.
If you allegedly rob more than one person, you can be tried on multiple robbery charges and receive multiple sentencing. In the event you rob two people who happen to share one item, you can still be charged with multiple robbery charges.
For a robbery charge to be valid, the victim must have actually or constructively possessed the stolen property. The item in question doesn't need to be owned by the victim—only that they had some kind of possession over it. For example, if a store clerk is forced to give store items and money to a person holding a gun at his/her face, this qualifies as robbery, even though the store clerk didn't own the store items or money in the register.
Immediate presence is one of the elements that can make a difference in whether you're charged with robbery. This is an area where the victim can logically exercise reasonable control over the item, but said item doesn't have to be on the victim's person. The line where "immediate presence" begins and ends can be blurry, which is why you need to contact an OC theft defense lawyer who can investigate your case. If we can show the police, DA, and judge the item in question was "taken" in an area where the alleged suspect couldn't exercise reasonable control over the said item, you may not be found guilty of robbery.
Another element of robbery is you must gain possession of the alleged victim's property and carry it away. While this may seem clear-cut, it's very important to point out that for a robbery charge, you must have had some movement with the property—no matter how little. For example, if you forcefully took a person's bag they were carrying, walked a few inches and discovered nothing inside the bag and put it down, you still could face robbery charges since you forcefully took possession of another's property moved the property while in your possession.
"Michael L. Guisti was able to get three very serious felony robbery charges reduced to one misdemeanor. He is the only attorney I know who was able to do that. This is amazing. I urge you call Michael L. Guisti if you've been arrested."
If you never intended to take any property, even if there was some kind of force or fear used for some other purpose, you cannot be found guilty of robbery. If you realize you accidentally took property from somebody and decide to keep it, you may not be found guilty of robbery, since you never had the intent to rob the alleged victim. You still may face certain theft charges such as petty theft and grand theft.
In regards to the claim of right defense, if you allegedly robbed somebody to reclaim an item somebody "borrowed" from you long ago, California can excuse robbery charges, as long as there is proof the item(s) belong to you. It is important to remember, however, that depending how you took possession of property that is rightfully yours, it's possible you could still face trespassing charges, criminal threat charges, or even possible assault and battery charges.
This defense only applies to specific property and not in situations where, for example, your neighbor broke your window and owes you $300 and in return, you go over to your neighbor's property and either take $300 cash or some object you think is worth $300.
While robbery is always charged as a felony, if you're convicted, it depends if the District Attorney prosecuted your robbery crime as first degree robbery or second degree robbery. First degree robbery is the more serious offense, as it includes robbing people in their homes, robbing a commercial building, robbing people who just used an ATM, and robbing commercial vehicles such as Brinks "money trucks."
If you had an accomplice at the time of the home or commercial robbery and are convicted, you could face between three and nine years in a California state prison. If you were alone during your crime, you could face between three to six years in prison. Second degree robbery is basically any type of robbery that doesn't rise to the level of first degree robbery such as a mugging. Those convicted of second degree robbery face between two to five years in a California state prison.
Robbery charges can negatively hinder your future, which is why it is imperative you contact an experienced Orange County defense lawyer at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti right away. Our team has more than a decade of legal experience and aim to minimize or eliminate your criminal charges—no matter how serious they may seem. Regardless of whether you are being tried in a court in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, or San Diego County, we can help you. Our team never settles for anything less than a fair outcome for your case.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.