How to Beat an Armed Robbery Case
Dealing with a robbery charge is not a walk in the park emotionally or legally. It is a serious offense that can naturally leave you feeling unsettled about your future and confused about how to defend yourself in the court system.
Fortunately, just because you face a robbery charge in California does not mean you are automatically guilty of this crime. As with any other criminal offense, the law presumes your innocence until and unless a prosecutor can prove your guilt in a court of law.
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What exactly is robbery?
Robbery involves taking another individual's money or property by using physical force or causing fear in the victim. If a gun or other deadly weapon is used during the event, the offense is aggravated or armed robbery. Robbery is different from a burglary in that robbery usually requires a victim to be present and threatened with harm.
Penal Code 211 Sentencing - Two Types of Robbery
- First-degree robbery takes place at an ATM or inside a building, such as a bank.
- Second-degree robbery includes all other types of robberies.
If convicted of first-degree robbery, a judge or jury may incarcerate you for 3-6 years, whereas a second-degree robbery conviction could result in 2-5 years imprisonment.
Because robbery in the state of California is a violent felony, if a court convicts you of this crime, it will count as a strike against you on your criminal record, based on the state's three-strikes law. If your record already features a felony, or if you end up getting a second one, your sentence may be double that which the law requires. Meanwhile, a third felony conviction will lead to a required prison sentence of 25 years to life.
Your legal rights
If you are facing a robbery charge, you have the option of going to trial to fight the charge or seeking to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. At trial, prosecutors must prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can occur.
However, if their evidence appears to be strong, a plea agreement offers the benefit of a potentially lighter charge and/or a more lenient sentence than what would result from a guilty finding at trial.
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