In California, robbery is a very serious theft crime; if you face charges for robbery, you need the assistance of a skilled and capable criminal defense attorney. At the Castillo Law Office, our Oakland robbery attorney has years of experience defending those accused of robbery. Fighting a robbery charge requires particular skill and experience because most cases hinge upon proper identification, crime scene testing, or electronic tracking.
We utilize expert testimony, vigorous cross-examination, and alibi witnesses to show that a suspect has been falsely accused. Whatever the scenario, Attorney Ernesto Castillo provides an aggressive defense in order to obtain the best possible result.
The robbery laws are found in Penal Code sections 211-215. Robbery is the taking of personal property from another's presence by force or fear. The fear can be a fear of personal injury to the victim or fear of injury to another person if the victim does not comply with the robber's demand. Robbery is separated into two degrees. First-degree robbery includes robbery of taxi drivers, passengers on public transportation, persons leaving an ATM, and robbery inside a house; second-degree robbery is every other type of robbery.
The punishment for a robbery conviction depends upon the degree, but all robberies are felonies. Most first-degree robberies are punished by three, four, or six years in prison, depending upon the defendant's criminal past and the severity of the crime. However, if a person acts together with two or more persons to rob someone in a home (robbery in concert), the punishment is three, six, or nine years in prison. Second-degree robbery is punishable by two, three, or five years in prison. Since robbery is a "violent felony" strike under California Penal Code Section 667.5, subdivision (c), the sentence for a robbery cannot be served in the county jail under realignment.
While the punishments for robbery in California are harsh by themselves, enhancements can make a robbery conviction sentence much longer. Under Penal Code section 12023.55, the use of a firearm to commit a robbery leads to a mandatory additional enhancement of 10 years in prison. If a gun was fired, the punishment jumps to an additional 20 years in prison, and if a firearm causes great bodily injury or death, the additional punishment is 25 years to life in prison. A robbery where a death occurs can result in special circumstances of the death penalty or a life sentence under the felony-murder rule.
Besides gun enhancement cases, any robbery that causes great bodily injury can result in a sentence enhancement of three to six years in prison, and robbery for the benefit of a gang can result in an additional 10 year prison sentence.
As shown above, robbery charges are very serious. At the Castillo Law Office, our criminal attorney understands the serious nature of these charges and fights aggressively to prove your innocence using investigators, witnesses, and expert testimony. While many cases involving false identification, other cases depend upon whether force was actually used to obtain the property.
If no force was used, the only crime is theft under Penal Code section 484, which can be a misdemeanor or a felony with a much lower sentence. Sometimes people who buy or are given an item are charged with the robbery, when in reality they are only guilt of receiving stolen property, also a much less serious crime.
In cases where there was an eyewitness identification, our attorney can cross-examine the witnesses to show bias or confusion, challenge the lineup procedure, and present an expert to testify that eyewitness identifications are often made in error due to the stress of the situation.
Showups conducted by the police are usually very suggestive, and the police sometimes influence a witness either intentionally or accidentally into picking a person. If identification remains an issue, then telephone records, GPS, and social media posts can be critical to proving an alibi defense and winning a case.
Attorney Ernesto Castillo has years of felony trial experience for robbery and homicide charges. He will use his experience in this field to review all the evidence in your case and make sure that all the possible defenses are pursued. If you or a loved one has been charged with robbery, contact our office today for a free consultation.