Robbery Lawyer Newport Beach
Skilled Legal Advice and Guidance Every Step of the Way in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino & Los Angeles
If you’re facing charges for robbery in Newport Beach, you could be punished with more than a slap on the wrist. Depending upon the specific situation, you could be ordered to spend years behind bars and pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees. Local prosecutors do not care about your circumstances and will rarely take your financial hardships into consideration when pursuing penalties against you. If you are not properly prepared or represented, you are decreasing your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, you can count on our skilled attorneys to not only give your case the time and respect that it deserves but also give you one-on-one assistance to help you get back on your feet. Our Newport Beach lawyers believe that good people can make bad decisions and that those decisions do not define who they are. We want to hear and tell your story so that when your case is complete, you know that every available opportunity to preserve your freedom has been evaluated and used to your advantage.
Call us at (844) 285-9559 today to find out how we can help you.
California Robbery Offenses
People often say “I was robbed” whenever something is stolen from them. Robbery is a more serious crime than theft. It is classified as a violent crime even when it does not lead to physical harm. Prosecutors usually seek serious punishment for felony robbery.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, more than 53,000 robberies were reported in California during 2013 (the most recent year in which complete statistics are available). More than 15,000 resulted in arrests.
About 45% of reported robberies took place on a street or sidewalk. Another 21% occurred in a business or other commercial building, while 9% were committed in residences. Bank robberies accounted for only 1.5% of all robberies. The rest took place in different settings, including parks, schools, trains, and government buildings.
In 2013, almost half of all California robberies were committed with a weapon, and are therefore classified as armed robberies. Prosecutors like to refer to the remaining robberies as “strong-armed” robberies, which is really another way of saying “unarmed” robberies.
Almost two-thirds of armed robberies were committed with a gun. The rest involved other dangerous weapons. Knives were employed in about half of the armed robberies that did not involve a gun. Using any object as a weapon, such as a hammer or a baseball bat, can result in an armed robbery charge when the object is used to coerce the victim into surrendering property.
California defines robbery as the taking of personal property from another person, against their will, and doing so by means of force or intimidation.
Robbery consists of five elements:
- The accused took property that belonged to someone else: Property is in a victim’s immediate presence if the victim controls the property and might be able to keep it by resisting. Pointing a gun at someone and saying, “Go find an ATM and bring me back some money” is not a robbery because the money is not in the victim’s immediate presence. However, it might become a robbery if the victim returns with the cash and surrenders it due to a renewed threat or fear of violence
- The property was taken from another person’s possession and immediate presence: Taking property while in the immediate presence of the person who possesses the property distinguishes robbery from other property crimes, including theft or burglary of an unoccupied home that is committed with the intent to steal. A robbery can be committed during the course of a burglary if an occupied dwelling is burglarized and force is used to take property from the inhabitants.
- The property was taken against that person’s will: Taking something means gaining possession of property and then moving it, even if the distance it moves is short. If the accused points a gun at someone, says, “Give me your purse,” and then fails to move the purse or its contents after its owner drops it and flees, the accused did not commit a robbery.
- The accused used force or fear to take the property or to keep the other person from resisting: Using or threatening force to steal property from another person is what makes robbery a crime of violence. Picking someone’s pocket is not a robbery because force or fear is not used to commit the crime.
- The accused intended to take the property and to keep it permanently or to deprive the property owner of its value for an extended period: The accused must mean to take the property at the time the accused used or threatens force. If the accused got into a fight with someone, knocked the victim to the ground, and only then decided to take the victim’s wallet, the accused did not commit a robbery.
Depending on the severity of the suspect’s action, they may be charged with two different levels of the offense.
In California, a first-degree robbery is a robbery of:
- The operator of, or a passenger in, a bus, taxi, streetcar, or other specified kinds of public transportation;
- Occupants of a dwelling; or
- Someone who is using an ATM or who just took money from an ATM and is still near the machine
The penalties for first degree violations can range from 3 to 9 years in state prison, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
Armed Robbery Sentence California
Armed robberies involving the use of a gun, and robberies that cause great bodily injury, subject the accused to a substantially longer maximum sentence. Robberies also count as a “strike” under California’s “three strikes” law.
Any case that does not qualify as a first-degree offense is automatically classified as second-degree. A conviction can result in punishment of 2, 3, or 5 years in state prison depending on the specific aspects of the crime.
A conviction for attempting to rob can also result in imprisonment.
Defenses to a robbery charge must be tailored to the evidence that the prosecutor will be allowed to introduce at trial. Evidence that the police acquired illegally can be challenged to prevent its use in court.
Potential defenses include:
- Mistaken identity
- False accusation
- No property was taken
- Lack of intent to take property at the time force was used
- Mistaken belief that the property was yours
- Property was taken without using force or threats
- The victim was not present when the property was taken
Other defenses may also be available. They can only be determined after a thorough investigation, including weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence.
Skilled Legal Assistance
Regardless of your circumstances, speaking with our Newport Beach robbery attorneys could help you substantially. The Law Offices of Randy Collins provides a free case evaluation for anyone facing charges in Orange County or Riverside and can help you better understand the penalties that you are facing.
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