California Penal Code Section 211 PC: Robbery

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimerobbery

The crime of robbery under California Penal Code Section 211 PC is defined broadly as a theft using force. Because robbery involves the use of force or fear, it is considered a serious felony-level offense that can result in substantial prison sentences.

To prove a defendant has committed robbery, a prosecutor must be able to prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant took property that did not belong to him or her.
  2. The property was taken from another person's possession and immediate presence.
  3. The property was taken against that person's will.
  4. The defendant used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the other person from resisting.
  5. AND when the defendant used force or fear to take the property, he or she intended to take it away from the other person permanently or for such an extended period of time that the owner would be deprived of the value or enjoyment of the property.

A person takes something when he or she gains possession of it and moves it some distance, however short. Even if the property is immediately returned, the defendant can still be charged with robbery.

2. Examples

A purse-snatcher operates by going into a crowded area and ripping purses off women's shoulders, then running away and keeping whatever property he finds inside. This man could be prosecuted for robbery under California Penal Code Section 211 PC because he forcefully takes property from someone else.

However, in another example a pickpocket operates in a busy commercial area by carefully removing wallets and jewelry from people he brushes up against. He is able to take their property without their knowledge. While the pickpocket could be charged with a theft crime, he would be not prosecuted for robbery, as he did not use sufficient force or fear as required by Penal Code § 211.

3. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Grand Theft and Petty Theft - California Penal Code Section 484 PC, California Penal Code Section 487(a) PC
  2. Burglary - California Penal Code Section 459 PC
  3. Carjacking - California Penal Code Section 215 PC
  4. Extortion - California Penal Code Section 518 PC
4. Defenses to Robbery

If someone has a claim of right or an honest and reasonable belief that the property belongs to them, they would have a legal defense to any robbery charge if they use force to retrieve that property. For example, a man learns that his neighbor has stolen an expensive tool from his garage. The man sees the neighbor using the tool, confronts him and forcefully removes it from his hands. This man could not be charged with robbery because he had a claim of right to the property. However, the claim of right defense would not protect a defendant from charges of battery or criminal threats.

5. Penalties

If the robbery was committed on the driver or passenger of a commercial vehicle, in someone's home or on a person who has just left an ATM machine, the defendant could be charged with first degree robbery which can carry a prison sentence of up to nine years.

All other robberies are punishable by up to five years in prison. If the defendant has robbed more than one victim, he or she can be prosecuted and punished for multiple counts of robbery. If a gun was used in the robbery, the defendant can be sentenced to ten years in prison and twenty years if the gun was fired.

This offense is a "strike" under California's Three Strikes law and any conviction can be used to enhance future sentences. A defendant convicted of robbery loses his or her ability to own or purchase firearms permanently.

6. Criminal Defense for Robbery Cases

Robbery is a serious felony that can carry significant prison sentences. If you or someone you know have been accused of this crime, it is critical that you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney at once. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who was previously assigned to prosecute major felonies. As a result, Mr. Kraut is well-versed in this area of the law and has experience in both prosecuting and defending cases of this nature. Mr. Kraut is highly respected throughout the court system for his legal acumen and impressive litigation skills.

For more information about robbery charges, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Client Reviews
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs!
★★★★★
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
★★★★★
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel Lepervanche
★★★★★
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.