What is Robbery?

Robbery is defined as employing the use of force to take property from another person’s possession. It does not matter the value of the item taken.  Force includes threats or a weapon being used in the commission of the crime.

Penal Code 211 PC covers the charge of robbery.  This felony is extremely serious and considered a strike under the California Three Strikes law.

There are two possible charges – 1st and 2nd degree.

1st Degree Robbery – Happens in a home, against an uber driver, during a carjacking, or at an ATM.

2nd Degree Robbery – All other robberies fall under 2nd-degree robbery.

Armed Robbery involves the use of a weapon when carrying out the crime.

To convict someone of a robbery charge, a prosecutor must prove that:

  • A defendant took property that did not belong to him/her
  • The property was taken from another’s possession in their immediate presence and against their will
  • The defendant used force or fear to take the property or prevent the alleged victim from resisting


  • A woman is standing in a parking lot and another person approaches them and threatens the victim, forcing them to give up their money. This would be 2nd-degree robbery.
  • A man is accused of breaking into someone’s home and threatening them with harm of some kind and then he steals their belongings. This would be considered 1st-degree robbery. This also is considered burglary.
  • Someone walks into a bank and uses a gun to force the teller to fill their bag with money.
  • A person wanders into a crowded area and rips a purse from a woman’s arm.  This is considered forcefully taking her property, he could be charged with robbery.

How Would I Defend Myself Against a Charge of Robbery?

Our firm will review your case fully and decide which defense would be available to defend against your charges.  These may include:

  • Lack of Sufficient Force: Theft could easily be mislabeled as robbery. If you grabbed a wallet from another person’s hand and ran away, there was not enough force used to constitute a robbery charge.
  • Mistaken Identity: A police line-up not handled correctly can result in you being misidentified.  This may also happen because the victim is having problems remembering the assailant.
  • Insufficient Proof: If there were no eyewitnesses, confessions, or any other direct evidence tying you to this crime, the prosecutor may not be able to sustain their burden of proof.
  • Suppressed Evidence – If authorities do not have sufficient cause to search your vehicle or home, a motion can be filed to suppress evidence found.

Legal Consequences You Could Face

Robbery convictions result in harsh penalties.  Sentencing will depend upon the severity of the crime and your criminal history. In addition, future sentences could be enhanced due to the Three Strikes law.

  • 1st-degree robbery has a maximum sentence of six to nine years.
  • Using a gun in the commission of a robbery can add a decade if the gun discharges this could add two decades to your sentence. In addition to a prison term of up to 40 years, someone convicted of 1st degree aggravated robbery may have to pay restitution, fines of up to $100K, and revocation of their driver’s license.
  • 2nd-degree robbery can leave you sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • You could also lose your right to vote and possess a firearm.

Why do I need a Lawyer?

If you are charged with a robbery, you must get an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your case immediately. Evidence, reports, and more must be gathered sooner rather than later.

If you are facing a robbery charge in Los Angeles, you will need an attorney with extensive experience handling a case like yours. Give Windsor Troy’s criminal defense attorneys are committed to protecting your rights and vigorously defending you. Do not try to maneuver this alone.  Proper representation is needed to navigate you through your case.  This is best handled by experienced attorneys who are former federal prosecutors, district attorneys, and public defenders who know the law and are prepared to fight for you!

Contact Windsor Troy today!