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What is the Difference Between Commercial Robbery and Residential Robbery?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Aug 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

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Commercial robbery takes place in a business like a bank or convenience store. Residential robbery is a robbery that takes place where people live or reside. Residential robbery is considered first degree robbery. Commercial robbery is considered second degree robbery.

Under Penal Code 211, robbery is:

  • the felonious taking of personal property,
  • in the possession of another,
  • from his or her person or immediate presence,
  • against his or her will,
  • by means of force or fear.

Robbery is divided into first-degree and second-degree robbery. (See Penal Code 212.5)

First degree robbery is committed when the victim is:

  • the driver or passenger of certain fare earning vehicles,
  • robbed while in a residence, inhabited vessel, trailer coach, or building,
  • using or just used an ATM machine.

Second degree robbery is any kind of robbery not listed as first degree. This includes commercial robbery.

Residential robbery is always first degree. The punishment for first degree robbery is:

  • three, four, or six years state prison,
  • $10,000 fine.

Residential robbery committed in concert increases the penalties. (See Penal Code 213). In concert means a total of three or more people. The punishment for residential robbery in concert is:

  • three, six, or nine years state prison.

Second degree robbery is punishable by:

  • two, three, or five years state prison,
  • $10,000 fine.

Crime enhancements can greatly increase the penalties for robbery. Penal Code 12022.53 is California's “10-20-Life use a gun and you're done” law. It applies to anyone who uses a gun while committing a robbery. The following penalties apply:

  • 10-years for personally using a firearm in a robbery,
  • 20-years for intentionally firing a gun during a robbery, and
  • 25-years to life for causing great bodily injury or death with a firearm during a robbery.

There are various defenses to robbery charges. These include:

  • the accused was taking back his or her own property,
  • mistaken identity,
  • the house was uninhabited,
  • the accused was under the influence,
  • the rights of the accused were violated.

What is the Crime of Robbery in California?

Under California Penal Code 211, robbery is:

  • the felonious taking of personal property,
  • in the possession of another,
  • from his or her person or immediate presence,
  • against his or her will,
  • by means of force or fear.

Robbery is divided into first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. First degree robbery is committed when the victim is:

  • the driver or passenger of certain fare earning vehicles,
  • robbed while located in a residence, inhabited vessel, trailer coach, or building,
  • using or just used an ATM machine.

Second degree robbery is any kind of robbery that is not listed as first degree. This includes commercial robbery.

What is Residential Robbery?

Residential robbery takes place where people live. This includes:

  • an inhabited dwelling,
  • inhabited vessel or floating house,
  • trailer coach,
  • inhabited part of a building.

A house or structure is “inhabited” if someone lives there. They don't have to be present so long as they intend to return.

Residential robbery is always considered first degree. The punishment for residential robbery is:

  • three, four, or six years state prison,
  • a $10,000 fine.

Residential robbery is also referred to as home invasion robbery if:

  • committed in concert with two or more persons.

Residential robbery committed in concert under Penal Code 213 is punishable by:

  • three, six, or nine years prison,
  • a $10,000 fine.

SENTENCE ENHANCEMENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL ROBBERY CHARGES

If a gun or other deadly weapon is used the penalties could be greatly increased.

Penal Code 12022 adds one-year if the defendant personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon. This could be a knife, pepper spray, or a taser.

Penal Code 12022.53 is California's “10-20-Life use a gun and you're done” law. It applies to someone who uses a gun while committing a robbery. The following additional penalties apply:

  • 10-years for personally using a firearm in a robbery,
  • 20-years for intentionally firing a gun during a robbery, and
  • 25-years to life for causing great bodily injury or death with a firearm during a robbery.

Please note that residential robbery is a violent felony. It is also a strike under the “Three Strikes” law. Someone convicted of residential robbery must serve 85% of their prison sentence.

What is Commercial Robbery in California?

Commercial robbery takes place in a business such as a bank or convenience store. It is considered second degree robbery.

Second degree robbery is punishable by:

  • two, three, or five years state prison,
  • a $10,000 fine.

Please note: Sentence enhancements that apply to first degree robbery can also apply to second degree robbery.

Are There Defenses to Residential Robbery Charges?

Several defenses to robbery charges can be raised by an experienced attorney. These include:

  • the accused was taking back his or her own property,
  • mistaken identity,
  • there is insufficient evidence,
  • the accused was under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
  • the house was uninhabited,
  • the rights of the accused were violated.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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