Armed Robbery - California Penal Code 211 PC

As you might guess, prosecutors and judges take armed robbery cases very seriously in Los Angeles County courts. In practicing criminal defense over the past 25 years, I have noticed the penalties for robbery cases get worse and worse over the years. First, they made robbery a strike (shortly after the California Three Strikes law passed). Then, they made using a gun during a robbery a 10-year enhancement on top of whatever the defendant receives for the underlying theft.

This is some serious time, and judges and prosecutors across the county are not afraid or hesitate to give a deserving long prison sentence to those they feel deserve it. Finally, any custody time that a person receives related to a robbery charge is served at 85%. The way to combat these vicious, violent crime sentence laws and tendencies is to show the prosecutor and judge that your case involved unusual circumstances and is not worthy of a lengthy prison sentence.

In other words, it has to be a scenario where the facts of your case did not involve the level of violence and dangerousness that the prosecutors usually see in most robbery cases. When you combine this argument with some mitigating facts and character letters about you, you then begin the process of building a defense that can achieve a result you can live with.

Taking a robbery case outside the worst-case scenario is not easy, and taking a savvy, experienced defense attorney has no chance. I am seeing in many of the robbery cases that I defend that the robbers are not using real or even loaded weapons to commit the crimes. This is a factor that the prosecutor and judge will consider when deciding what to do in a robbery case. Further, if no violence is committed against the victim and no property is lost, the prosecutors are a lot more likely to give the person a break.

Law on Robbery Cases in California 

Robbery is defined by California Penal Code Section 211 as a crime of taking property from their possession by force or fear. Someone would be charged with armed robbery if a weapon was involved while committing a robbery. If the person is not present when the property is taken, it will not be considered a robbery unless force or fear is used during the robber's escape.

A conviction for armed robbery will not only count as a strike on your record but also may result in heavy fines and a very long term of imprisonment. The sentencing depends on numerous factors, such as the severity of the crime and the existence of any priors. As indicated above, using a gun during a robbery can add ten years to the sentence, and the discharge of a firearm during the robbery can add 20 years to the ruling.

What Is an "Estes Robbery?" 

An Estes Robbery involves force or violence used for the robbers to escape. This Estes case is where no force or violence was used to take the subject property, but when the authorities tried to stop the robbers from leaving the location, they were met with force and violence.

The courts have found that this type of scenario will also be treated as a robbery for purposes of the robbery laws in California. Like any traditional robbery, a person involved in this taking will be punished. Although, in my experience, under the right circumstances, I have convinced prosecutors and judges to permit my client to plead to a non-robbery crime if they used force or fear during their escape versus at the time of the taking of the property.

As your lawyer, we fight aggressively on your behalf and do everything we can to get the best possible results. We have a combined 75 years of experience and are well known and well respected by judges and prosecutors throughout Los Angeles San Fernando Valley courthouses. Our credentials speak for themselves, and we are confident in our legal skills and strategy.

If you are facing charges of armed robbery, there are several defenses we may be able to assert on your behalf aggressively. Common reasons for armed robbery: claim of right of property taken, lack of intent to take the property, no force or fear used, you were not the one who even committed the robbery and false accusations.