An Anaheim man was recently arrested and accused of robbing his girlfriends’ 82-year-old mother in her home. According to the police statement, the accused took “several jewelry items and coins” in addition to ransacking the home. While robbery is not a new notion, the thought that someone would A) rob their girlfriends mother, and B) rob an elderly person is not so taboo anymore. These crimes are occurring at increasing rates, which should be alarming to the public. However, just because someone is accused and arrested does not always mean that they are guilty, or that they will be going to jail.
Is Davy Guilty?
Thankfully, guilt cannot be accessed via a short investigation or by skimming through an online article. If the California court system were anything like the “court of public opinion”, there would be a lot more cases of false imprisonments, which would lead to overall distrust of the judicial system. Luckily, our system works based upon facts, theories, and the ultimate decision of a judge or jury of one’s peers. While of course the victim’s identification is relevant, prosecutors will surely present other evidence, pointing toward Mr. Davy’s guilt. On the flipside, the defense could easily argue that he was familiar with the home, and more than likely had been in the home before, which would explain any DNA or fingerprint evidence in the home. Regardless of what is argued, the simple fact is that we do not know what evidence will or will not be shown. This is why the “court of public opinion” is often a disservice to the wrongfully accused. Mr. Davy was also serving probation at the time of the crime; however, this should not make someone automatically assume that he is guilty. Just because someone breaks the law one time does not mean that they constantly do it.
What Are The Penalties?
Every area has their own guidelines and penalties for robbery, and Orange County is not different. California Penal Code 211 has two different guidelines for robbery: First and second degree. A first-degree robbery conviction is punishable by 3 to 6 years in state prison, while a second-degree robbery conviction is punishable by two to five years. Other issues can also increase the time of a prison sentence. If a firearm is brandished in the commission of a felony, the prison sentence can be lengthened by 10 years. If the defendant intentionally shoots a firearm during the crime, their prison sentence could be prolonged for as much as 20 years in state prison. If the victim suffers great bodily harm during the crime, without the use of a firearm, the sentence could be lengthened by up to 6 years in prison. However, judges ultimately have the sentencing decision, which is often based on history (i.e. where Mr. Davy’s probation violation comes into play).
What Options Do Defendants Have?
It really depends on the overall situation what options robbery defendants have. Of course, your best defense is to have experienced and knowledgeable representation. It is best to locate an attorney who has dealt with cases similar to yours. While it is nice to hear an attorney say that you will be 100% acquitted, you also need to be informed of the reality that there are no guarantees. You need to know what types of punishment and restitution you will be facing, if it comes to it. It is always better to be prepared. It is also a good idea to ask the outcomes of other cases that your prospective attorney has dealt with that are similar to yours. Of course, no two cases are exactly alike, but, as with the case of Mr. Davy, if you were on probation at the time of the crime, it is a good idea to secure an attorney who has experience gaining an alternative form of punishment instead of a jail term.
As far as a probation violation goes, there are alternate methods of punishment, with the most common being house arrest. Many factors can play into any reduction, or alternative sentence, whether it is a probation violation or something else. In California, as with many other states, state prisons are over-crowded, and many non-violent offenders do not serve their entire sentence behind bars. If you have otherwise been a decent person, i.e., no crime record and hold a steady job, you may be eligible for the more lenient end of a sentence, with a nice chunk of it being on house arrest, monitored probation, or other arrangements which the judge may deem fit. In addition, life situations may also affect your chances of having a more lenient sentence. For instance, a crime that was committed under the influence of drugs may help you get into a drug rehabilitation program. This does not always work; however, an experienced attorney can help you gauge what your best options are.
Only time will tell what type of sentence Mr. Davy will receive if he is convicted. However, if your case is similar, do not compare it. What yours is may vary from Mr. Davy’s, even if the circumstances are similar. Each judge and prosecutor have their own viewpoints on crime; some are more lenient toward first offenders, and possibly forgiving to remorseful repeat offenders, while some are not, and deem that everyone should be sentenced to the maximum, regardless of their circumstances. It is always wise to keep an open mind, and consider all of your options before hiring an attorney, as your future is at stake.
Assistance for Southern California Robbery Defendants
If you are facing robbery charges in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, or Riverside, you qualify for a free confidential consultation from a skilled lawyer with no obligation to retain their services. Call our firm at (888) 250-2865 to take advantage.