Prison and jail time are not inevitable in California. There are certain mandatory Prison Presumptive Charges, and PC 211 Robbery is one of them but you can persuade the judge if there were extraordinary circumstances. You can make the case that it wasn’t as serious as other forms of robbery such no weapon was used or it wasn’t a home invasion. Interestingly enough, somebody who commits the kind of a robbery where they are stealing something that they are really in need of like food or clothing but they pushed somebody to get out of the store, or they run and they get into a scuffle with the security guard, those can be mitigating factors. That doesn’t make it okay, but it makes it less serious than others. It is feasible to avoid prison time and sometimes even county jail time depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. The mitigating factors and weaknesses in the evidence all play a role in what happens on a case by case basis.
There are a few defenses to any kind of robbery charge. There are the “I didn’t do it at all. I am the wrong person or I’ve been misidentified” defenses. Then the defenses related to force like “I didn’t have a weapon, there was no force involved, I didn’t make an actual threat but instead I asked for it and got it” then of course a defense that the property was actually yours to begin with or it wasn’t taken from the possession of another person. The strategy in any criminal defense case is to try to find what seems to be missing in the elements of the charge, and then kind of work your way into that. It’s not so much what’s there, it’s what isn’t there
Factors that can enhance or aggravate a robbery charge include how much was taken, and the circumstances of it. In other words, was it late at night, was somebody basically scared to death? Was it during the daytime and it just wasn’t as egregious? It has to do with the overall level of force or fear that was used. If actual force is used, then there is going to be an additional charge. If you hit somebody, then they are also going to charge you with battery, or they’re going to charge you with assault with a deadly weapon if you hit them hard enough or you use some kind of weapon.
What can enhance any violent offense in California is the personal use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. That can get you a minimum of 4 additional years. If you personally used a firearm, that is a minimum of 10 extra years in jail. Those are the things that enhance charges. Robberies are strike offenses in the state of California.
A common form of robbery that tends to occur, outside of your stickups and home invasions, are called Estes Robberies which are basically shoplifting attempts gone wrong. Imagine someone at a 7-Eleven stealing six pack of beer. As they go out, the owner grabs them by the arm and says, “What do you think you’re doing,” and the guy pulls his arm away and pushes the owner’s arm off of him then runs off. That would be considered the use of force and during a theft and the Estes case held that it is considered a robbery. No matter the type of robbery case, it is advised to get in touch with a California robbery defense lawyer to defend your rights. Although there are many Armed Robbery Defense Lawyers in Oakland, CA that can be contacted, you can get help from The Nieves Law Firm, APC in Oakland, CA, for a Free Consultation Session. Call (510) 779-2082 to speak with an Oakland, CA robbery defense attorney.
Robbery is defined in California as theft by means of force or the threat of force.