Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law punishes the crime of taking someone else's property from the person's body or immediate possession, when accomplished by force or fear.1 This is a felony offense, punishable by two to nine years in the state prison
But we're here to help. As former prosecutors and cops, we have the inside knowledge critical to defending you against your California robbery charges
Below, our California criminal defense attorneys2 address the following:
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group
You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Penal Code 484 PC Petty Theft; Penal Code 487 PC Grand Theft; Penal Code 503 PC Embezzlement; Penal Code 518 PC Extortion; Penal Code 215 Carjacking; Penal Code 487(d)(1) Grand Theft Auto; Penal Code 459 PC Burglary; Penal Code 236 PC False Imprisonment; Penal Code 207 PC Kidnapping; Penal Code 422 PC Criminal Threats; Penal Code 602 PC Trespass; Penal Code 242 PC Battery; Penal Code 240 PC Assault; Penal Code 245(a)(1) Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW); Penal Code 245(a)(2) Assault with a Firearm; California Legal Defenses; Penal Code 29800 PC Felon with a Firearm; Penal Code 186.22 PC California's Criminal Street Gang Sentencing Enhancement; Penal Code 12022.53 PC California's "10-20-life ‘Use a Gun and You're Done'" Law; California's Three Strikes Law; and California's Felony-Murder Rule.
In order to convict you of robbery, the prosecutor must prove the following facts (otherwise known as elements of the crime):
- you took property that didn't belong to you,
- from another person's possession or immediate presence,
- against that person's will
- using force or threats, and
- when you took the property, you intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or for such an extended period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.3
Robbery is what's known as a continuing offense, which means that as long as each of these elements is satisfied before the crime is completed, there is no requirement that they occur in a specific order or at the same time.4 And a robbery is only complete once the "robber" is either caught or has reached a place of safety.5
On a similar note, as long as each of these elements is met, the value of the money or property stolen is irrelevant.6 It can be of any value, no matter how slight.7
Let's take a closer look at some of the terms contained in these elements to gain a better understanding of their legal definitions.
That you "took" property
Taking property necessarily consists of two elements:
- gaining possession of the alleged victim's property, and
- carrying it away.8
"Carrying it away" requires at least some movement, no matter how slight.9 And even if you immediately return the item which you took, that fact does not negate the robbery.10
Example: During an attack, Shawn (who is outside the car) reaches into the car and grabs Carrie's purse. He looks through it, decides not to take anything from it, and gives it back
Even though Shawn gave the purse back almost immediately...and only moved it the slightest distance from within the car to his possession...the court held that Shawn "took" the purse and was therefore guilty of robbery.11
The alleged victim must actually or constructively possess the confiscated property in order for the offense to qualify as a Penal Code 211 PC robbery. He/she does not need to be the owner of the property, as long as he/she possesses it.12
This means that a store employee or even a customer who is forced to surrender money or property can qualify as a robbery victim.13 However, an individual with no possessory interest in the property...and under no direction to turn over any property...does not qualify as a "robbery" victim.14
Example: After paying for some beer in a convenience store, Edward grabs a pack of cigarettes and leaves without paying. Mark, a "Good Samaritan", chases Edward out of the store and is beaten by Edward's companion
The court held that since Mark had no possessory interest in the cigarettes, he didn't qualify as a robbery victim and that no robbery actually took place. Edward may have been guilty of petty theft, burglary, and/or battery, but not robbery.15
Property is in the "immediate presence" of a person if it "is so within his reach, inspection, observation, or control that he could, if not overcome by violence or prevented by fear, retain his possession of it".16
This broad definition means that the object doesn't necessarily have to be on the victim's person, but just in an area where he/she would logically exercise control over it.
Example: In People v. Webster, the defendant was convicted of robbery when he forcefully took the victim's car keys in order to take the victim's car. Even though the car was a quarter of a mile away, the court upheld the "immediate presence" requirement, since the victim had constructive possession (that is, he held the keys) and it was within such a distance that he was logically connected to it and would have controlled it if he had not been robbed.17
Against that person's will
"Against the person's will" simply means without consent. If the force or fear (discussed below) were such that it leads to the alleged victim surrendering the money or other property, the surrender was against the person's will
That said, you can actually rob a person even if that person doesn't realize that you stole his/her property until after you flee, as long as he/she didn't affirmatively consent to you taking the property.
Example: When Sam arrives home, Rick (who broke in) is there. The two struggle while Sam tells Rick to leave. Once Rick finally leaves, Sam realizes that his girlfriend's watch is missing.
Given these facts, the court stated that because Rick used force to take Sam's watch without permission...even though Sam didn't know Rick took the watch until after he left...Rick was still guilty of violating Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law. The court held "there is no requirement that the victim be aware that his property is being taken from his presence by force or fear".18
Force or fear
For purposes of Penal Code 211 PC robbery, the terms force and fear essentially mean the same thing. Courts have held that the coercive effect of fear induced by threats is in itself a form of force.19
"The element of fear is satisfied when there is sufficient fear to cause the victim to comply with the unlawful demand for his/her property."20 This means that as long as you use enough force to overcome the alleged victim's resistance, the element is complete.
The type of fear that robbery refers to is a fear of harm to one's person, property, family, or to people/property present during the incident.21
Of interest is the fact that you can violate Penal Code 211 PC even if your alleged victim is unconscious.
Example: John strikes up a conversation with Sally while at a bar. He takes her back to his home for coffee and places a tranquilizer in her cup. Once she is unconscious, he takes her belongings.22
This type of force is also applicable to the "against the person's will" element above. If, for example, Mary is unconscious, she is unable to "will" anything, which means you can't take her property against her will. Yet despite this logic, the "against the will" element is satisfied by proof that the taking was without Mary's consent.23
Finally, prosecutors can convict you of robbery even if you acquire the money or property peacefully, but then use force or fear to take the property from the alleged victim.
Example: Robert, in a pawnshop, asked the clerk to see a gun and ammunition. After the clerk complied and began to complete the sale, Robert loaded the gun, threatened the clerk, and left the store. The court held that even though Robert initially lawfully obtained the merchandise, he committed a robbery when he forcefully left the store with without paying for the gun.24
Fortunately, there are a variety of California legal defenses to your robbery charge(s) that your criminal defense lawyer can present on your behalf. The following are examples of some of the most common.
You didn't intend to take the property
If you didn't intend to take or keep the property...but only did so after you used force or fear incidental to some other purpose...you aren't guilty of robbery.
Example: Ruben forces Stephanie (who is waiting at a bus stop) to get into his truck. He drives her to a field where he rapes her. When he is done, he leaves Stephanie there and inadvertently drives off with her purse in the truck.
Under these circumstances, Ruben isn't guilty of robbing Stephanie. Even though he used force to rape her, there is no reason to believe that he intended to rob her of her purse.25
Similarly, if you only accidentally take property...but then later decide to keep it...you still haven't robbed the alleged victim.
Example: Using the facts from above, Ruben realizes that Stephanie's purse is in his truck. He decides to keep the money inside. Even under these circumstances, Ruben still isn't guilty of robbery.26
However, he may be guilty of either Penal Code 484 PC California's petty theft law, or of Penal Code 487 PC California's grand theft law, depending on whether the amount is above or below $950.27
If you take someone else's property...but do so without using force or fear to do so...you don't violate Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law. However, you could be guilty of one of the theft offenses mentioned above or, perhaps, of Penal Code 503 PC California's embezzlement law.28
This is because robbery necessarily involves force or fear. If neither of these elements is present...or if either is only satisfied pursuant to a different crime (like the rape in the above example)...there is no robbery.
Claim of right
If you rob someone...but only do so because you have an honest belief that the specific property you are taking rightfully belongs to you...California law excuses the robbery. This is the case as long as the belief is honest, even if it is mistaken or unreasonable.29
However, depending on the circumstances, you may still face charges for another offense involving force or fear allegations (such as Penal Code 242 PC California's battery law, Penal Code 422 PC California's criminal threats law, or Penal Code 602 PC California's trespass law).30
Additionally, this "claim of right" defense does not apply to robberies designed to "settle a debt". This means that if, for example, your neighbor borrowed your lawnmower (valued at $500) and broke it, you can't rob him of $500. This defense only applies to specific property...which means that you could only reclaim the lawnmower itself.31
Because robberies often involve people who wear masks or other items of clothing to shield their identity, innocent people are often falsely accused of this offense. This could be the case for a number of reasons, the most common of which includes the fact that you happen to match a description of the actual perpetrator (your height/weight, clothing, car, etc.).
Similarly, someone could falsely accuse you of robbery for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the actual perpetrator is trying to cover up his own culpability. Maybe an angry or jealous spouse is trying to gain control over you.
Regardless of why you were falsely accused, we'll help clear up the confusion. As Orange County criminal defense attorney Zachary McCready32 explains, "Because we're former cops and prosecutors, we know how to investigate cases so that we expose inconsistencies and reveal untruths. If our innocent client has been falsely accused of a crime, we will prove it."
Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law is always a felony. But the length of your sentence depends on whether prosecutors convict you of robbery in the first degree or robbery in the second degree.
First degree robbery
First degree robbery is reserved for the most serious robbery offenses. These include robberies of
- drivers or passengers of any type of commercial vehicle,
- "inhabited" (that is, lived in) homes, and
- people who are using or have just finished using an automated teller machine (ATM).33
If convicted of first degree robbery... where you and at least two other people robbed an inhabited home, building, etc., you face a three, six, or nine-year California state prison sentence. Any other first degree robbery convictions subject you to a three, four, or six-year sentence.34
Second degree robbery
Second degree robbery is robbery that takes place under any circumstance that doesn't rise to the level of first degree robbery. If convicted of second degree robbery, you face two, three, or five years in the state prison.35
If you rob more than one victim, you can be convicted and punished for multiple counts of robbery. This is the case even if there is only one "taking" (if, for example, you apply force or fear to two people who jointly share possession of the property that you take).36
However, if there is only one victim, you can only be convicted of and punished for one count of robbery, regardless of how many items you take.37
In addition to the above penalties, there are a variety of sentencing enhancements that may be applicable to your Penal Code 211 PC robbery conviction. These include (but are not limited to):
Penal Code 12022.7 PC California's great bodily injury enhancement
If, during the commission of your robbery, you cause another person to suffer a great bodily injury (that is, a substantial physical injury), California Penal Code 12022.7 PC California's great bodily injury enhancement imposes a three to six-year prison sentence in addition and consecutive to the penalty you receive for your robbery conviction.38
Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang enhancement
If the prosecutor proves that you committed the robbery "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang", California's gang enhancement kicks in
A conviction under Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang enhancement automatically imposes a ten-year prison sentence in addition and consecutive to your robbery penalties.39
Penal Code 12022.53 PC California's "10-20-life ‘use a gun and you're done'" law
Penal Code 12022.53 PC California's "10-20-life ‘use a gun and you're done'" law subjects you to ten years in prison for "using" a gun, twenty years for firing a gun, and 25-years-to-life for killing or seriously injuring another person with a gun. And, as is the case with all of the above enhancements, this is in addition and consecutive to the sentence you receive for the underlying robbery conviction.40
California's Three Strikes Law
California's robbery law is what's known as a "violent felony".41 This means that in addition to the above penalties, a Penal Code 211 PC conviction will result in a "strike" on your criminal record pursuant to California's Three Strike's Law.42
If you are subsequently charged with any felony and have a prior "strike" on your record, you will be referred to as a "second striker," and your sentence will be twice the term otherwise required by law.43
If charged with a third felony, and you have two prior strikes, you will be referred to as a "third striker" and will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life in California state prison.44
California's felony-murder rule
If, during the commission of a robbery, you or an accomplice accidentally or unintentionally kills another person, California's felony-murder rule automatically holds you responsible for first degree murder.45This is the case even when the victim isn't killed in furtherance of the robbery, as long as the death is logically related to the robbery.46
Loss of your right to own or acquire firearms
In addition to the above penalties, a conviction for Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law necessarily triggers a lifetime firearms ban under Penal Code 29800 PC California's "felon with a firearm" law. Under this law, you will lose your right to own, possess, purchase, or receive a firearm for life.47
That said, as long as the offense didn't include a dangerous or deadly weapon, you may be able to restore your California gun rights if you successfully obtain a certificate of rehabilitation or a governor's pardon.48
Penal Code 211 PC and aliens
If you are a legal immigrant or legal alien, a Penal Code 211 PC robbery conviction could additionally lead to your deportation.49 For more information about how California's theft laws affect aliens, please visit our article on California crimes that lead to deportation.
There are a number of crimes that relate to Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law because they either (1) share elements with robbery, or (2) frequently get committed in connection with robbery. The following are some common examples.
Penal Code 215 PC California's carjacking law punishes taking someone else's car from their immediate possession through force or fear. And although this is a separate offense from robbery...and you can be charged with both...you can't be punished for both if the same incident violates both of these laws.50
Grand theft auto (GTA)
Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC California's grand theft auto (GTA) law punishes stealing another person's car with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of it.51 If you use force or fear to steal the vehicle, prosecutors could ultimately charge you with this offense, carjacking, and/or robbery.
Penal Code 459 PC California's burglary law prohibits entering a building or other structure with the intent of committing a felony once inside.52 This means that if, for example, you enter a bank intending to rob it, and do so, prosecutors could convict you of robbery and burglary.
False imprisonment / kidnapping
Penal Code 236 PC California's false imprisonment law and Penal Code 207 PC California's kidnapping law involve using violence, menace, force, or fear in order to detain or move another person.53
If you violate either of these laws in an effort to rob the alleged victim, prosecutors could charge you with any or all of these offenses.
Penal Code 518 PC California's extortion law involves using force or fear to compel another person to surrender money or property. And while this offense is very closely related to robbery, the alleged victim in an extortion case consents to the taking
Another difference between the two is that robbery involves a threat of immediate harm, where the threat involved in an extortion case may be immediate or future harm.54
A Penal Code 240 PC California assault takes place when you make an unlawful attempt (and have the present ability) to commit a violent injury upon another person.55 If while you rob someone, you have the ability to injure that individual, prosecutors could charge you with both offenses
Similarly, if you have a deadly weapon to help aid in the robbery, prosecutors could charge you with violating Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery law and Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC assault with a deadly weapon (ADW).56
Finally, if that weapon is a firearm, you face charges for robbery and Penal Code 245(a)(2) PC assault with a firearm.57
Call us for help...
For more information about California's robbery laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group
Our California criminal law offices are located in and around Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities
Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions about Nevada's robbery laws. For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.58
1California Penal Code 211 -- California's robbery law. ("Robbery is 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.")
2Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.
3Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction CALCRIM 1600 -- California's robbery law.
4People v. Gomez (2008) 43 Cal.4th 249, 254. ("In robbery, the elements of larceny are intertwined with the aggravating elements to make up the more serious offense. The issue here is the temporal point at which the elements must come together. The answer lies in the fact that robbery, like larceny, is a continuing offense. All the elements must be satisfied before the crime is completed.FN3 However, as we explain in greater detail below, no artificial parsing is required as to the precise moment or order in which the elements are satisfied. This conclusion is consistent with decades of California jurisprudence.")
5See same at 255. ("Although the slightest movement may constitute asportation ( People v. Davis, at p. 305, 79 Cal.Rptr.2d 295, 965 P.2d 1165), the theft continues until the perpetrator has reached a place of temporary safety with the property. ( People v. Flynn (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 766, 772, 91 Cal.Rptr.2d 902).")
6People v. Tafoya (2007) 42 Cal.4th 147, 170. ("Robbery is "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." ([Penal Code] § 211.) If the other elements are satisfied, the crime of robbery is complete without regard to the value of the property taken.")
7CALCRIM 1600 -- California's robbery law.
8People v. Rodriguez (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 121,130. (""Taking" is an element of the crime of robbery ( People v. Nguyen (2000) 24 Cal.4th 756, 761, 102 Cal.Rptr.2d 548, 14 P.3d 221; see also 2 Witkin & Epstein, Cal.Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Property, § 90, p. 119), and consists of "two necessary elements, gaining possession of the victim's property and asporting or carrying away the loot."")
9People v. Vargas (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 456 ,463. ("The movement or asportation [necessary under Penal Code 211 PC] need only be very slight.")
10People v. James (1937) 20 Cal.App.2d 88, 90. ("The law is settled that the voluntary return of personal property feloniously taken from another will not purge the wrongful act of its criminality and prevent a conviction of robbery.")
11People v. Hill (1998) 17 Cal.4th 800, 852. ("Johnson, an eyewitness, testified Howard's assailant grabbed the purse from Howard, looked through it, declined to take anything from inside the purse and then gave it back. This comprises substantial evidence from which a rational jury could have concluded a taking occurred. Moreover, once there has been a taking, "it is no defense that the property taken was restored, even though this occurs almost immediately...Defendant also contends the evidence was insufficient Howard's robber asported or moved the purse an adequate distance to constitute robbery. To satisfy the asportation requirement for robbery, "no great movement is required, and .it is not necessary that the property be taken out of the physical presence of the victim."...We reiterate only slight movement is required. We conclude the evidence was sufficient to prove defendant was guilty of robbing Howard.")
12People v. Moore (1970) 4 Cal.App.3d 668, 671. ("It is no defense to a charge of robbery (or of theft) that the victim was not the true owner of the property taken. Theft can be committed against one who was himself a thief.")
13People v. Miller (1977) 18 Cal.3d 873, 880. ("Robbery is an offense against the person; thus a store employee may be a victim of a robbery even though he is not its owner and not at the moment in immediate control of the stolen property.' (People v. Johnson (1974) 38 Cal.App.3d 1, 9, 112 Cal.Rptr. 834, 839.) Robbery convictions have been upheld against contentions that janitors and night watchmen did not have a sufficient possessory interest in their employer's personal property to qualify as victims. (People v. Downs (1952) 114 Cal.App.2d 758, 765-766, 251 P.2d 369; People v. Dean (1924) 66 Cal.App. 602, 607, 226 P. 943.) Even a visitor in a store who was forced to remove and surrender money from the store's cash box was held to be a victim of the robbery. (People v. Moore (1970) 4 Cal.App.3d 668, 670-671, 84 Cal.Rptr. 771.)")
14People v. Galoia (1994) 31 Cal.App.4th 595, 599. ("But good motives alone cannot substitute for the special relationship needed to create a possessory interest in the goods.FN1 Thus, while Galoia may have committed several other uncharged offenses,FN2 his conviction for robbery cannot stand. FN1. As explained and illustrated above, the requirement that the property be taken from the "possession of another" may be established only by proving the victim has a legally recognizable interest in the property or actually possessed it.")
16 Miller v. Superior Court (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 216, 221.
17Webster v. Woodford 369 F.3d 1062 C.A.9 (Cal.), 2004.
18 People v. Jackson (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1326, 1330.
19People v. Wright (1996) 52 Cal.App.4th 203, 211. ("As we have noted, "force" is not an element of robbery independent of "fear"; there is an equivalency between the two. " ‘[T]he coercive effect of fear induced by threats ... is in itself a form of force, so that either factor may normally be considered as attended by the other.' " ( People v. Brookins (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1297, 1309, 264 Cal.Rptr. 240.)")
20People v. Bordelon (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 1311, 1319.
21California Penal Code 212 -- Fear defined.
22 Based on People v. Dreas (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 623, 627. ("As stated above, appellant was found guilty of three counts of robbery. These convictions were predicated on evidence showing that in each instance appellant used Lorazepam, a tranquilizer, dissolved in hot coffee in order to drug his victims. The drug rendered the victims unconscious, overcoming their resistance to the taking of various items of personal property from their homes or persons. Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the robbery convictions because the use of drugs does not constitute "means of force or fear" within the meaning of [Penal Code] section 211 [California's robbery law]. We disagree.")
234 Wharton's Criminal Law § 461 (15th ed.) relying on State v Snyder (1918) 41 Nev 453, 172 P 364, a case that the court in Dreas, endnote 22, above, relied on when deciding it's holding.
24People v. Anderson (1966) 64 Cal.2d 633, 638. ("Accordingly, if one who has stolen property from the person of another uses force or fear in removing, or attempting to remove, the property from the owner's immediate presence, as defendant did here, the crime of [Penal Code 211 PC] robbery has been committed.")
25Rodriguez v. Superior Court (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 821, 827. ("Applying the foregoing principles to the evidence before the magistrate here, we are struck by the absence of evidence concerning petitioner's awareness of the purse. Had the testimony revealed that petitioner showed an interest in the purse or that the victim brought it to his attention, the prosecutor could have argued for an inference that one of petitioner's intentions when he forced the victim from the car was to separate her from her purse. The inference would have been weak, in light of evidence that his dominant concern was for sexual gratification, but it would have been available. However, with no evidence that the defendant became aware of the purse before forcibly separating the victim from it, the inference is unavailable. In order to sustain the superior court, we would have to find it reasonable to infer from the fact that petitioner raped the victim and the fact that she possessed a purse, the further facts that he knew she possessed the purse and that he intended before the rape to steal it from her. Clearly, there is no basis for such a cumulation of inferences. The superior court erred in failing to dismiss the [Penal Code 211 PC California] robbery count.")
27Penal Code 484 PC California's petty theft law applies when the value of the property or goods is $950 or less. Penal Code 487 PC California's grand theft law applies when when the value of the property or goods exceeds $950.
28Penal Code 503 PC California's embezzlement law. ("Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted.")
29People v. Tufunga (1999) 21 Cal.4th 935, 945–950.
30Penal Code 242 PC California's battery law punishes willfully and unlawfully using force or violence upon another person. Penal Code 422 PC California's criminal threats law punishes threatening to commit a crime against another person that, if carried out, will result in death or great bodily injury. Penal Code 602 PC California's trespass law covers a wide range of conduct but essentially prohibits entering another person's property without the authority to do so. All three of these laws are therefore closely related to Penal Code 211 PC California's robbery laws.
31See Tufunga, endnote 29, above.
32Orange County criminal defense attorney Zachary McCready represents clients accused of violating California's robbery laws throughout Orange County, including Fullerton, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Irvine and Westminster.
33California Penal Code212.5 PC -- Robbery; degrees. ("(a) Every robbery of any person who is performing his or her duties as an operator of any bus, taxicab, cable car, streetcar, trackless trolley, or other vehicle, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in the air, and used for the transportation of persons for hire, every robbery of any passenger which is perpetrated on any of these vehicles, and every robbery which is perpetrated in an inhabited dwelling house, a vessel as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code which is inhabited and designed for habitation, an inhabited floating home as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, a trailer coach as defined in the Vehicle Code which is inhabited, or the inhabited portion of any other building is robbery of the first degree. (b) Every robbery of any person while using an automated teller machine or immediately after the person has used an automated teller machine and is in the vicinity of the automated teller machine is robbery of the first degree. (c) All kinds of robbery other than those listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) are of the second degree.")
34California Penal Code 213 PC -- Robbery; punishment. ("(a) Robbery is punishable as follows: (1) Robbery of the first degree is punishable as follows: (A) If the defendant, voluntarily acting in concert with two or more other persons, commits the robbery within an inhabited dwelling house, a vessel as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, which is inhabited and designed for habitation, an inhabited floating home as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, a trailer coach as defined in the Vehicle Code, which is inhabited, or the inhabited portion of any other building, by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or nine years. (B) In all cases other than that specified in subparagraph (A), by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or six years. (2) Robbery of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or five years. (b) Notwithstanding Section 664, attempted robbery in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.")
35See endnotes 33 and 34, above.
36People v. Ramos (1982) 30 Cal.3d 553, 589 (overruled on other grounds). ("We view the central element of the crime of robbery as the force or fear applied to the individual victim in order to deprive him of his property. Accordingly, if force or fear is applied to two victims in joint possession of property, two convictions of robbery are proper.")
37People v. Brito (1991) 232 Cal.App.3d 316, 326.("When a defendant steals multiple items during the course of an indivisible transaction involving a single victim, he commits only one robbery or theft notwithstanding the number of items he steals.")
38Penal Code 12022.7 PC -- California's great bodily injury sentencing enhancement. ("(a) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three years. (b) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony which causes the victim to become comatose due to brain injury or to suffer paralysis of a permanent nature, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. As used in this subdivision, "paralysis" means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism. (c) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a person who is 70 years of age or older, other than an accomplice, in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. (d) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a child under the age of five years in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for four, five, or six years. (e) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury under circumstances involving domestic violence in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years. As used in this subdivision, "domestic violence" has the meaning provided in subdivision (b) of Section 13700. (f) As used in this section, "great bodily injury" means a significant or substantial physical injury.")
39Penal Code 186.22 PC -- California's criminal street gang sentencing enhancement. ("(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), any person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members, shall, upon conviction of that felony, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which he or she has been convicted, be punished as follows...(C) If the felony is a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the person shall be punished by an additional term of 10 years.") Also see endnote 41, below.
40Penal Code 12022.53 PC -- California's 10-20-life "use a gun and you're done" law. ("(a) This section applies to the following felonies...(4) Section 211 (robbery)...(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a), personally uses a firearm, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years. The firearm need not be operable or loaded for this enhancement to apply. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a), personally and intentionally discharges a firearm, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 20 years. d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a), Section 246, or subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 26100, personally and intentionally discharges a firearm and proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7, or death, to any person other than an accomplice, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.")
41California Penal Code 667.5 PC. ("(c) For the purpose of this section, "violent felony" shall mean any of the following:...(9) Any [Penal Code 211 PC California] robbery...")
42California Penal Code 667 PC -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section (otherwise known as California's Three Strikes Law). ("(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishment for those who commit a felony and have been previously convicted of serious and/or violent felony offenses.")
43California Penal Code 667 -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section -- California Three Strikes law . ("(e) For purposes of subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, and in addition to any other enhancement or punishment provisions which may apply, the following shall apply where a defendant has a prior felony conviction: (1) If a defendant has one prior felony conviction that has been pled and proved, the determinate term or minimum term for an indeterminate term shall be twice the term otherwise provided as punishment for the current felony conviction. (2)(A) If a defendant has two or more prior felony convictions as defined in subdivision (d) that have been pled and proved, the term for the current felony conviction shall be an indeterminate term of life imprisonment with a minimum term of the indeterminate sentence calculated as the greater of: (i) Three times the term otherwise provided as punishment for each current felony conviction subsequent to the two or more prior felony convictions. (ii) Imprisonment in the [California] state prison for 25 years...")
45California Penal Code 189 PC Murder. ("All murder which is...committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate...[Penal Code 211 PC] robbery... is murder of the first degree.")
46People v. Cavitt (2004) 33 Cal.4th 187, 197. ("The purpose of the felony-murder rule is to deter those who commit the enumerated felonies from killing by holding them strictly responsible for any killing committed by a cofelon, whether intentional, negligent, or accidental, during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of the felony.")
See also People v. Stamp (1969) 2 Cal.App.3d 203, 209. ("A review of the facts as outlined above shows that there was substantial evidence of the robbery itself, that appellants were the robbers, and that but for the robbery the victim would not have experienced the fright which brought on the fatal heart attack.")
47Penal Code 29800 PC California's felon with a firearm law. ("(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.")
48If you successfully obtain a certificate of rehabilitation or a governor's pardon, you can restore your California gun rights. However, there is a very crucial caveat to this statement: if the Penal Code 211 PC robbery or any prior felony conviction that you suffered involved the use of a dangerous weapon, you will not regain those rights.
498 U.S. Code Section 1227 -- Deportable aliens. California theft offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which subject aliens to deportation. For more information, please review our article on California crimes of moral turpitude that may lead to deportation.
50Penal Code 215 PC -- California's carjacking law. ("(c) This section shall not be construed to supersede or affect Section 211. A person may be charged with a violation of this section and [Penal Code] Section 211 [California's robbery law]. However, no defendant may be punished under this section and Section 211 for the same act which constitutes a violation of both this section and Section 211.")
51Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC California's grand theft auto (GTA) law. ("Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases...(d) When the property taken is any of the following: (1) An automobile...")
52Penal Code 459 PC California's burglary law. ("Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, [etc.]...with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.")
53Penal Code 236 PC California's false imprisonment law punishes unlawfully violating the personal liberty of another. Penal Code 207 PC California's kidnapping law reads as follows: ("(a) Every person who forcibly, or by any other means of instilling fear, steals or takes, or holds, detains, or arrests any person in this state, and carries the person into another country, state, or county, or into another part of the same county, is guilty of kidnapping.")
54Penal Code 518 PC California's extortion law. ("Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.")
55Penal Code 240 PC California assault. ("An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.")
56Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) . ("(a)(1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.")
57Penal Code 245(a)(2) PC assault with a firearm. ("(2) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than six months and not exceeding one year, or by both a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and imprisonment.")
58Please feel free to contact our Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Mike Castillo for any questions about Nevada's robbery laws. Their Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.