Robbery

Robbery is criminalized under Penal Code Section 211. A robbery conviction constitutes a strike on your record under the Three Strikes Law, which will subject you to 25 years to life in prison should you accrue three strike offenses on your record). Robbery is punishable by up to nine years in prison.

What is the statute of limitations on robbery?

The statute of limitations in California depends on the severity of the penalty for the crime. Generally, per California Penal Code Section 800, crimes punishable by imprisonment in the California State Prison for eight or more years have a statute of limitations of six years after the crime was committed. If a gun was used in the commission of the offense, the statute of limitations may be eight years.


What must the prosecutor prove to show that I am guilty of this crime?

To show that you are guilty of robbery under California Penal Code Section 211, the prosecutor must show that:

1) You took property that was not yours.
2) You took it from someone else's possession and immediate presence.
3) You took the property against the other person's will.
4) You used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the person from resisting.
5) When you used force or fear to take the property, you intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the other person's possession for such an extended time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.

What defenses can your Torrance robbery defense attorney use in my defense?

Lack of intent:

Based on the circumstances of your case, Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, can argue that you did not form the intent to take the property of the complaining witness until after you used force or fear. For example, if Pam confronts Sam during a dispute, subdues him by pointing a gun at him and only afterward decides to take his wallet, we would argue that Pam did not have the intent to take the property before or during the time that she used force or fear on Sam. If Pam did not form this "required intent" until after using force or fear against Sam to get the property, then she cannot be convicted of robbery.

Claim of right:

If the property that you are accused of taking was yours or if you had a good faith claim of right that it belonged to you, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys can argue that you did not take someone else's property. If this element of the offense is not met, you cannot be convicted of robbery, (though you may be charged with assault and/or battery). (However, this defense is only available if you reclaimed or sought to reclaim a specific piece of property; it is NOT a defense to robberies committed to settle a debt, liquidated or unliquidated.)

For example, if Cheech used force or fear to recover his bong from Chong, his Torrance robbery defense lawyer may argue that Cheech's bong was his, thereby defeating this element of the offense. (However, if Cheech pointed a gun at Chong to recover the $20 that Chong borrowed from him to "score some bud," Cheech cannot avail himself of this defense.)

No Force or fear:

For you to be convicted of robbery, you must not only have taken property that did not belong to you, but the method by which you acquired the property must have been "force or fear," i.e., either violence or the threat of violence.

For example, Donna is sitting at a diner. She is there with her companion and she places her purse on the table. Donald, a self-styled ninja, is sitting at a nearby table and snatches Donna's purse without her or her companion noticing. His Torrance criminal defense attorney can argue that Donald did not use force in the taking, and, therefore, should not be charged with robbery. Although he may be subjected to a lesser charge such as grand theft, Donald cannot be convicted of robbery. It would be the same reason a pickpocket would not be convicted of robbery, i.e., the victim did not offer up resistance to the taking.

No intent to permanently deprive:

To have the required intent for theft, you must either have intended to deprive the owner permanently or to deprive the owner of a major portion of the property's value or enjoyment. For example, if Bart, who is not a musician, yanked Lisa's saxophone away from her because he wanted to see his reflection in the brass, and then promptly returned it to her, his Torrance criminal defense lawyer could successfully argue that Bart lacked the requisite intent to permanently deprive Lisa of her saxophone.

There may be many other defenses to your robbery (PC 211) charge. Even if you are guilty, our South Bay criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charge to a nonviolent, nonstrike offense.

Contact Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, Now!

We are experienced and understanding Torrance criminal defense lawyers and will use all available defenses to protect you against a conviction. We have over 40 years of experience defending people accused of robbery and other crimes.

We are former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, so we know how the prosecution operates.

Robert Ernenwein is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named a Super Lawyer by Los Angeles magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.

The experience and capabilities Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, will bring to your robbery defense are unmatched.

If you are charged with robbery, call us at 310-782-0552 or email us immediately for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located minutes away from the Torrance Courthouse and we represent clients there on a daily basis, as well as at other courts throughout Southern California.