There are Degrees of Burglary
The difference between a California Penal Code 211 PC robbery and a Penal Code 459 PC burglary depends on the circumstance. In a robbery, a person is typically present when the offender takes the property away from them by force or fear. Whereas with burglary, the offender is stealing property in a residence while the owner is not home.
However, a burglary can also involve the presence of a person. The offender, in this case, is not technically stealing from a person's hand, but it just so happens that a person is present in the home. A robbery is treated more harshly than burglary because of a person's presence. There is an added danger when someone is present while a theft occurs.
It's much scarier to a person when the robber is present and the owner is witnessing the robber in action versus no one being home during the crime. Both are violative to a person, but robbery is usually a more severe crime. A first-degree burglary involves residences, while a second-degree burglary involves theft from a store.
A Robbery is usually one degree. However, a more severe robbery such as a home invasion is more significant. A home invasion robbery can involve the owners being tied up and injured while their home is being robbed. The prosecutor in a robbery case will take all factors into account when deciding the type of applicable sentence for the defendant.
For instance, if the offender hurt someone with a gun, stabbed them, or performed other violent activity during a robbery, the prosecutors can argue that the robber deserves six years because they were violent and hurt the victim or victims. Any injury can exacerbate the crime and make it more serious.
The more violent a robbery, the stronger the argument can be for the prosecutor to send the offender to prison and grant a longer sentence. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will provide more details below.
What Are The Potential Penalties In California?
Potential penalties for robbery or burglary convictions in California can be determined based on whether a person uses a weapon. If a person used a gun to commit a robbery, they would be looking at a ten-year enhancement. The ten-year enhancement for using a gun is additional to the robbery sentence, which can be two years for a common term.
The minimum a person can be facing would be 12 years, two years for the robbery, and another ten for using a weapon. If the offense is more serious, the punishment will be more severer. Burglaries don't usually identify a gun because there often isn't anyone else present during the burglary to establish the use of a weapon.
The prosecutors and the judges will look at the impact caused to the victim in the robbery or the burglary. They will look at what the offender did, how much value they got away with, and their criminal record.
If a person goes in with a gun and steals jewelry from two separate people, that person can be hit with two different robbery charges, and if they got convicted, they would have two strikes on their record moving forward. These examples can explain just how serious these particular crimes are viewed.