Be Aware of the Law: California Robbery Laws

There are often misconceptions about Robbery. Before clarifying the different elements of and defenses for robbery, take a look at the law.

California Penal Code Section 211 reads, "Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate precedence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear."

Like all laws, Robbery is complex. Simply put, robbery occurs when a person uses a form of force or intimidation, of any kind, to seize property from a person. To be convicted of robbery, prosecution needs to prove specific elements of the crime, for example how intimidation was used to take a wallet from a citizen.

One element that the government must prove is how the defendant caused fear in the victim to give up his property. While guns and knives are common tools used to create fear in a victim, using anything to make a victim feel like they are in danger of injury will satisfy this element. If the prosecution is unable to prove this element, they may not be able to satisfy the first element of robbery. If someone takes property without the use of fear, robbery was not committed. This is a common defense against robbery.

A second element of robbery is that the property, which was taken by force, has to have been on the physical person of the victim or close enough to have been seen or heard being taken. Additionally, based on the law, to satisfy the elements of robbery, one must make an effort to get away with the property.

If you have been accused of robbery, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has the knowledge you need to defend your case. We have over 50 years of experience using different kinds of defense to protect our clients. For quality legal representation, call us to discuss your case.