A criminal defense attorney must advocate for a defendant in the face of charges that could lead to imprisonment, fines, or both. A defendant can hire their own attorney, or an attorney can be appointed by the state of California to serve as a representative.
If you are facing criminal charges, you have the right to obtain legal counsel in the state of California to assist you in fighting your robbery or theft-related charges. If you have the opportunity to select your own legal counsel, secure counsel from SoCal’s most experienced and highly-rated criminal defense lawyers at My SoCal Lawyers. We proudly serve the Riverside and San Bernardino areas by advocating for defendants in cases involving robbery.
Benefits Of a Robbery Defense Attorney
There are numerous benefits to hiring a criminal defense attorney for your robbery charges. Aside from your attorney knowing how to handle your case, you can also count on a skilled defense attorney to do the following:
- Accompaniment To Court
Walking into a courtroom alone can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Having an attorney can help mitigate those feelings because you know someone is there to assist you in making your defense. Barring a few exceptions, your criminal defense attorney can make court appearances on your behalf.When your lawyer is experienced, they handle the complex legal matters for you while you get to concentrate on living your life and placing your focus on your personal affairs while you get through your trial. The right attorney will show up to court on your behalf to sort out the details and supply you with the information you need to make sound legal decisions.
- Time-Sensitive Negotiations
Robbery and other theft-related crimes require swift action by the defense team to ensure all available evidence is examined prior to an initial court appearance. It is advantageous to have your attorney comb through the evidence to inform you of your options before you enter the courtroom. Understanding what you’re up against and having a plan on how to proceed early greatly impacts your ability to successfully execute your defense.In certain instances, your attorney could even have your case dismissed by a judge with a solid and compelling presentation of evidence. When this is possible, you have the benefit of saving both time and expense, and you will avoid involvement in a potentially lengthy litigation process. Even if your case is not dismissed, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you make a case that significantly impacts the outcome of your case for the better.
- Discovery and Procurement of Evidence
If your attorney had years of experience in criminal defense, they likely have a great rapport with the staff, prosecutors, and judges, within the local court. These professional connections make it easier for your attorney to engage in discovery from the prosecutor’s office. This is especially beneficial when your attorney can retrieve discovery information prior to your first hearing because he or she can come into the hearing with a firm understanding of your case.As an individual, it would be difficult and likely overwhelming for you to contact the courts and obtain the necessary documents prior to your initial hearing. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can be confident that these crucial preliminary actions are being taken on your behalf. Your attorney will gather the available evidence and begin the process of making a strategic plan to build your defense.
Robbery vs. Burglary in California
The major difference between robbery and burglary is that robbery involves theft via force, threat, or an act of violence, whereas burglary involves theft from inside of a building or other enclosed structure absent of coercion. The two crimes often get confused but, in essence, have very different meanings under the penal code of California.
When Should You Seek the Assistance of a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
When facing robbery-related charges, it is always advised to have an attorney who specializes in robbery cases. Being accused of robbery in the state of California is a highly serious matter, and the best chance at getting a fair trial is to have an experienced robbery defense attorney in your corner who knows the law and who can advocate for you.
Robbery and similar charges range in severity, so you will want to have a lawyer who understands the complexity of these cases to provide you with the best possible defense. If you have a case involving any of the following offenses, you will need expert help with your criminal defense:
Robbery is theft that involves the use of force, threats of harm, or violence to obtain the possessions or property of another. Robbery is a felony-level crime that has very serious consequences in California, with a maximum prison sentence of nine years. If you are convicted of robbery, you will also have a strike on your record, which counts toward California’s Three Strikes law.
- Petty Theft
When an individual is charged with stealing property that is valued up to $950, said individual faces petty theft charges. While petty theft is a misdemeanor in the state of California, it carries serious punishments and should not be taken lightly. If convicted of petty theft, an individual may have penalties that include fines, a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.
- Grand Theft
When an individual is charged with theft of items or valuables greater than $950, that is considered grand theft. Unlike pretty theft, grand theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the circumstances. If convicted of grand theft, an individual could face up to one year in prison or additional penalties.
Burglary is a theft that involves entry into a building, such as a home or commercial property, with the intent to steal valuables and other property. When a burglary occurs in a place of residence, that offense can count as a strike in the state of California. An individual can be charged with burglary in the first or the second degree, with first-degree burglary taking place in a residence and second-degree burglary taking place in a commercial area.
- Receiving Stolen Property
It is a criminal act to knowingly accept or purchase stolen property in California. When an individual accepts or purchases property that they know is stolen, the charges are similar to first-hand theft.
- Grand Theft Auto
In California, stealing a vehicle is considered grand theft auto. Regardless of value, when a vehicle is stolen, the individual receives an automatic charge of grand theft auto.
Misuse of someone else’s personal property is considered embezzlement in California. Embezzlement also occurs when someone else’s money or valuables are stolen by an entrusted individual. Embezzlement usually happens in business settings where someone with access to company finances steals money for personal gain.
What Is the Punishment for First-degree Robbery in California?
In California, robbery can fall into the first or second degree. First-degree robbery is the more serious of the two and has a minimum prison sentence of three years and a maximum sentence of nine years. Second-degree robbery is the lesser charge but still carries sentences of two, three, or a maximum of five years. First and second-degree robbery can also have fines and penalties of up to $10,000 in addition to jail time.
First-degree robbery includes taking money and property from an individual at or leaving an ATM, inside an inhabited structure, or inside a vehicle such as a bus, a car, taxi, subway car, etc.
Second-degree robbery is considered to be any other form of robbery that does not meet the conditions of robbery in the first degree.
How Much Time Can a Person Serve for Bank Robbery?
Bank robbery typically involves the use of weapons, meaning it falls under armed robbery. Robberies that involve the use of a weapon are treated with a high level of seriousness because the threat to the safety of others is heightened. Penalties for bank robberies and other forms of armed robbery have harsh penalties, and if convicted, an individual can serve decades-long prison sentences.
Criminal offenses where a gun is used add a significant amount of time to prison terms, so if someone robs a bank with a gun, they can face:
- Ten years in prison for using the gun to commit the bank robbery.
- Twenty years in prison if the gun is discharged during the robbery.
- Twenty-five years to life if someone is killed or suffers serious bodily harm in the process of a bank robbery.
Simply put, using a gun during the act of robbery only enhances the penalties you will face if convicted of the crime. Choosing the right criminal defense attorney to advocate for you will give you the best possible chance of making your case in the courtroom. The team at My SoCal Lawyers has relationships with local judges and other courthouse officials that create in-depth knowledge of working criminal defense cases in the area.
Is Robbery Considered a White Collar Crime?
Under the California penal code, robbery is not considered white collar because it involves the use of force to commit the act. Embezzlement is another theft-related crime that does qualify as a white-collar offense in California. Misapplication of another person’s money or property can lead to embezzlement charges and land a convicted individual in prison. Embezzlement may not involve physical harm to another, but crimes of this nature leave victims who have to recover from the damaging effects of losing their life savings, investments, or other valued property.
Trust MySoCal Lawyers with Your Criminal Defense Case
No one ever wants to sit in a defendant’s chair in their lifetime, but unfortunately, life can lead some to make decisions that result in involvement in criminal activity. If you find yourself in need of expert criminal defense services, please know that there is a local team of lawyers that would be honored to work with you to fight your case. If you need a defense attorney, we can provide you with the support you need to get through this challenging time.
You don’t have to stand alone as you fight your robbery charges in Riverside. Instead, contact MySoCal Lawyers to speak to our team today. When you contact us, you will have an opportunity to be connected to one of the area’s most knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys to discuss how we can help. Let us assist you by building a solid defense case on your behalf that will lead to the most favorable outcome possible.