Robbery is defined under California Penal Code Section 211 as the taking of another’s personal property from his person or immediate presence against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear. Because robbery is prosecuted as a felony in California, you may be facing harsh consequences if you are found guilty of this crime. First-degree robbery is punishable by up to 6 years in prison, and second-degree robbery is punishable by up to 5 years, with additional sentence enhancements if you caused bodily injury, used a firearm, or have a prior criminal record. If you’ve been accused of robbery in Riverside, it’s important to understand how you may be able to defeat these charges with the help of a skilled defense attorney.
Defenses to Robbery in Riverside County
1. Claim of Right
One common defense to robbery is a claim of right to the property. If you obtained property under a claim of right, then you did not have the requisite intent for the crime of robbery. You can obtain property under a claim of right if you believed in good faith that you had a right to the specific property or money and openly took it. In deciding whether you believed in good faith that you had a right to the property, the court will consider all the facts that are known to you at the time you obtained the property, as well as all the other evidence in the case. You can hold a good faith belief even if the belief is mistaken or unreasonable, but if you were aware of facts that made the belief completely unreasonable, then the court may conclude that the belief was not in good faith. It should be noted that this defense does not apply if you attempted to conceal the taking at the time it occurred or after the taking was discovered.
2. Lack of Force or Fear
In order to convict you for robbery, the prosecution must prove that you used force or fear to accomplish the taking. You cannot be convicted of robbery if the means by which you took the property were insufficient to overcome the resistance of a reasonable person. For example, if you took money from a person’s wallet while he was asleep, but didn’t threaten him or use violence against him, you may not be guilty of robbery. Although you did take another’s property, your attorney can likely get your charges reduced to theft, which carries lesser penalties.
3. Lack of Taking
Can you be charged if you tried to take someone else’s property but didn’t succeed? Under PC Section 211, the prosecution must prove that you took another person’s property from his person or in his immediate presence. If you did not touch or move the property, your attorney can argue that the taking did not occur. For instance, if you threatened another person to give you his money but he fled before you got the chance to take his property, then no taking has occurred. However, in this case, you may still be charged with attempted robbery, which has a shorter sentence.
4. False Accusations
It’s possible that the charges leveled against you are completely false. Personal vendettas may fuel false allegations, or it may simply be a case of mistaken identity. If that’s the case, an experienced lawyer can look into the circumstances of your case and locate evidence that the reported occurrence never happened.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
California has strict penalties for robbery, including heavy jail sentences. If you are accused of this crime, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is your best choice amongst Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients defend against robbery charges, and we have the skills and resources to secure the best outcome for you.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you.
Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.