Charged With Robbery Or Burglary? We’ll Make Your Fight Our Fight
Unless you are a robbery and burglary attorney, it’s easy to confuse the terms robbery and burglary, especially considering that many people use these terms and theft interchangeably. But in reality, robbery, burglary, and theft are all different and specific crimes. Some burglars also commit robbery in the course of the same crime, but burglary doesn’t actually have to involve any type of theft at all.
A burglary is defined as entering any room, structure, or locked vehicle for the purposes of committing any crime that can be charged as a felony. This crime is often some kind of theft, but it could also be a crime such as fraud, forgery, or even assault.
A robbery is defined as taking property from any individual’s person or immediate surroundings using force or fear. Stealing from an inhabited dwelling could easily qualify as robbery and burglary at once.
The Penalties For Robbery And Burglary Are No Joke
Both crimes can carry serious penalties including years behind bars, especially if any sentencing enhancements are added. But this isn’t even the scariest part of facing a burglary or robbery charge.
Here’s what you really need to watch out for:
Some felony robbery and first degree burglary offenses count as “strikes” under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Because three strikes can earn you life in prison, you need to be especially quick to call a robbery and burglary attorney for immediate assistance if you are charged with robbery or first degree burglary. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to escape the burden of a strike on your record, either by getting the charges dropped or perhaps by pleading down to a lesser charge.
We Handle All Kinds of Charges
At The Mattern Law Firm, our 25+ years of experience as a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles has exposed us to all kinds of different crimes related to robbery and burglary. We understand the nuances of the various statutes involved and we can help you build a strong defense strategy whether you are facing:
- First degree burglary (residential burglary)
- Second degree burglary (commercial burglary)
- Possession of burglary tools
- Grand theft
- Petty theft
- Petty theft with a prior
What Is The Difference Between Theft And Robbery?
A Theft becomes a Robbery (Penal Code section 211) when there is the use or threat of force or fear to the person whose property is being taken. The threat of force and/or fear can take place before, during, and even after the taking of the personal property.
What Is A Robbery?
As defined in the applicable jury instruction, CALCRIM No. 1600: To prove that a person is guilty of Robbery, it must be proven 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 used force or fear, he/she intended to deprive the owner of the possession permanently, or for an extended period of time.
What Does Immediate Presence Mean?
The property taken does not have to be in the actual possession of the victim. The property can be nearby, such as in another room. “Immediate presence” means the property is sufficiently within his or her physical control. An employee can have what is called “constructive possession” over an employer’s property, such as an employee at Target, 7-Eleven, etc.
What Type Of Force Is Required?
Any type of force elevates a Theft to a Robbery. It could be force or the threat of force. It does not have to involve a weapon. It could be a push, a grab or any type of unwanted (beyond what would be necessary to obtain the item) touching used to obtain the property.
What Type Of Fear?
Fear of injury to the person or the person’s family or property or immediate injury to someone else that is present.
Will I Be Charged With First Degree Or Second Degree Robbery?
First degree Robbery as stated in Penal Code section 212.5 states that if the victim is the operator of a bus, taxi, an individual in an inhabited home or any other type of building is first degree. Additionally, the Robbery of any person who is using or immediately after using an ATM is first degree. Any other Robbery is second degree Robbery. Robbing an individual at gunpoint would be second degree Robbery, however, a gun enhancement would be added to increase the time.
What Is The Punishment For First Degree Robbery?
The punishment for first degree Robbery is 3, 4, or 6 years in state prison. The punishment for second degree Robbery is 2, 3 or 5 years.
Is Robbery A Strike?
Robbery, whether it is first or second degree is a strike and is deemed to be both serious and violent.
Get A Robbery And Burglary Attorney You Can Trust
If you rely on the public defender to serve as your robbery or burglary lawyer, how sure will you feel that they’re giving your case the time and attention it deserves? Will they really push for your best interests or will they just want you to accept any deal the prosecutor may throw your way?
At The Mattern Law Firm, we make your fight our fight. We operate with a high degree of integrity and dedication, always pushing ourselves to do more for our clients. We will never advise any course of action that we do not honestly believe represents the right route to the best possible outcome in your case.
If you hire us as your robbery or burglary attorney in Los Angeles, we will be available to you every step of the way by phone or email. You’ll never have to go through a paralegal or a case manager and we will never send anyone but your attorney to handle your court appearances.
Call Now For A Free Case Evaluation
If you would like to get an experienced robbery and burglary attorney’s opinion on your case, please call 310-807-1263 now for a free case evaluation.