May 24, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

California Penal Code Section 211 defines robbery as 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. Felonious taking is defined as the illegal taking away of something.

In order to be convicted of robbery the prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant took property that was not his/her own; the property was taken from another person’s possession and immediate presence; the property was taken against that person’s will; the defendant used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the person from resisting; when the defendant took the property (he/she) intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s possession for a long period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.

Robbery is divided into degrees: first degree and second degree. First degree robbery is when the robbery is committed against any person who is performing his or her duties as an operator of any bus, taxicab, cable car, street car, trackless trolley, or other vehicle, against a passenger perpetrated on any vehicles used for transportation for hire; committed in an inhabited dwelling house; committed against a person in an inhabited dwelling house; or committed against a person using an ATM. All other robbery is second degree robbery.

Punishment for first degree robbery is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three (3), six (6), or nine (9) years if the robbery was committed in concert with two or more persons, and the robbery was committed within an inhabited dwelling house.In all other cases of first degree robbery, the punishment is imprisonment in state prison for three (3), four (4), or six (6) years. Punishment for second degree robbery punishable by imprisonment in state prison for two (2), three (3), or five (5) years.

There are many defenses to robbery. The defendant must have formed the intent to take the robbery before or during the time he/she used force or fear. Without the requisite intent, there is no robbery. Additionally, another defense is that there was no force or fear. A defendant can not be convicted of robbery if the defendant did not apply any force or the victim was not afraid during the taking.

For more information, go to and read our Robbery section. You will find invaluable information on the charges that you or a loved one may be facing, as well as the possible defenses.

The consequences of being convicted of robbery involve a lengthy jail sentence. With so much at stake it is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before taking any action on your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of our clients. Call us at (888) 749-0034 to learn more about your legal rights. We will be there when you call.

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