If you have been charged with the criminal offense of robbery in San Diego, California you are potentially facing a lengthy prison term if convicted. For this reason, it is crucial that you understand the charges you are facing and that you consult with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
California Penal Code Section 211 defines the offense of robbery as follows:
“Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.”
So what exactly does that mean without all of the legal jargon? In simple terms, to convict you of the crime of robbery the State of California will have to prove the following:
- You took property that was not yours
- You took that property directly from the rightful owner or wen the owner was close by.
- You took the property against the owner’s will
- You used threats or force to get the property away from the owner
In San Diego, robbery can be charged as either a first or second degree felony. If you are convicted of first degree robbery you face a potential prison term of three, four, or years. The exception to this is that if you and two or more additional defendants robbed an inhabited building you face a tougher sentence of three, six, or nine years in prison. To be charged with first degree robbery one of the following circumstances must have accompanied the alleged robbery:
- The alleged victim was a driver or passenger of a commercial vehicle (such as a taxi driver or passenger)
- The alleged robbery occurred in an inhabited home
- The robbery took place at an ATM machine and the alleged victim was using, or had just finished using, the machine.
If you are convicted of second degree robbery, you face a possible sentence of two, three, or five years in prison.
The potential terms of incarceration if convicted of a San Diego robbery are lengthy; however, your sentence could be even worse if any of the following circumstances apply:
- Using or firing a gun
- Participation in a street gang
- Death of a victim or bystander
- Great bodily harm to a victim or bystander
- You have previous felony convictions that count toward California’s “Three Strikes” law
Any of the above additional circumstances could cause your term of incarceration to increase considerably.
If you have been charged with robbery in San Diego, consult with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the prosecution of your case.