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Vista Robbery Defense Attorneys



Legal Representation From a Former LAPD Investigator

Property crimes are very common in North County, ranging from shoplifting to vehicle theft. To stamp out high crime rates, Vista Sheriffs may arrest first and ask questions later, leading to invalid charges due to mistaken identities, lack of evidence, or incomplete investigations. When it comes to robbery, Vista defendants can face hefty penalties due to these rushed investigations.

If you or someone you love has been charged with robbery, reach out to jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation. Our Vista robbery defense lawyer is a former LAPD investigator and a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He can dig into the details of your arrest, find weakness in the prosecution’s arguments, and advocate for a reduced sentence or full dismissal of all charges. To discuss your case today, call us at (760) 630-2000. Your future is on the line.

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How California Defines Robbery

California has a long list of theft crimes and several complex laws surrounding them. In general, it is a crime for a defendant to unlawfully take another person’s property with the goal of depriving that person of its value. With robbery, in particular, a district attorney can charge a defendant under California Penal Code 211 for:

  • Taking another person’s property;
  • From the owner’s person or immediate presence;
  • Against the owner’s will; and
  • Through the use of force or fear.

The key elements of this charge are the owner’s willingness and the use of force or fear. If the owner consented to you taking the property or allowed you to borrow it, it would not constitute robbery. Robbery also overlaps with certain violent crimes, such as assault and battery, wherein one person tries to force someone else to give up her property. Threats of violence, the use of a weapon, intimidation – all of these elements can make this crime a felony. However, without these elements, the San Diego District Attorney cannot charge you under California’s robbery laws.

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Robbery vs. Burglary

Another aspect of California’s theft laws is the concept of an “immediate presence.” Robbery specifically applies to situations where one person takes property off someone else’s person or from her immediate presence. However, if the victim is not near the property when it is taken, it would be classified as burglary if the defendant illegally entered the victim’s home, apartment, or business. Burglary is defined under Penal Code 459 as the act of entering someone else’s property in order to commit a crime like petty or grand theft, whether the owner is there or not. In contrast, a robbery charge requires that the victim was on the premises.

Robbery is categorized as either first- or second-degree based on the nature of the crime, where it took place, and the status of the victim. A first-degree robbery charge applies in situation where:

  • The robbery took place in an inhabited dwelling, vessel, floating home, trailer coach, or part of a building.
  • The victim was a driver of a rideshare vehicle, bus, taxi, streetcar, or other vehicle used to transport passengers.
  • The victim was a passenger on one of the above vehicles.
  • The victim was using or had just used an ATM and was near the machine.

Anything not included in the above definition is second-degree robbery under Penal Code 211. The difference between these charges will determine what penalties the defendant will face.

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Consequences of a Theft Crime Conviction

Robbery is classified as a felony in California, no matter the value of the alleged stolen goods. A felony can result in imprisonment in a state prison, thousands of dollars in fine, supervised probation, and a strike according to California’s Three Strikes Law.

If you are convicted of second-degree robbery, you can face:

  • Up to two, three, or five years in prison;
  • A maximum fine of $10,000;
  • Felony probation;
  • A strike on your record; and/or
  • Restitution to the victim.

For first-degree robbery, a conviction can include all the same penalties and up to three, four, or six years in state prison. A court can also seek harsher penalties if there were multiple victims, a victim was harmed, or you broke into the victim’s home.

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Start Building Your Defense Today

The consequences of a robbery charge are severe in North County. The prosecution will want to intimidate you with a long list of penalties and force you to accept an unfair plea deal. But before you agree to anything, you should discuss you case with an experienced defense lawyer at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys. Our legal team can go over the evidence against you and develop a strategy to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Common defense strategies in robbery cases include:

  • You were wrongly arrested in a case of mistaken identity.
  • You did not use force, fear, or intimidation to take the victim’s property.
  • The victim consented to giving you the property.
  • You believed you rightfully owned the property and took it through a mistake of fact.
  • The police performed an illegal search and seizure to collect evidence against you.

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Trust in More Than 30 Years of Experience

For more than 30 years, our team at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys has successfully defended North County residents in complex criminal trials. We understand how intimidating a robbery charge may be, but we also know how to protect your future. We encourage you to reach out to our Vista criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation. We can review the charges against you, explain your rights under the law, and fight to protect your freedom.

Do not let the prosecution bully you into a plea deal. Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 to work with a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist.

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James N. Dicks

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A note from James N. Dicks:

If you feel uncomfortable with an in-person meeting due to the recent surge in COVID-19, our office is offering remote appointments via phone and Zoom. Please call or email us to set up your appointment.


James N. Dicks
jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys

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COVID-19 Announcement

If you feel uncomfortable with an in-person meeting due to the recent surge in COVID-19, our office is offering remote appointments via phone and Zoom. Please call or email us to set up your appointment.

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