Theft crimes don't all look alike, and under California law, actions involving the unlawful taking of personal property can
Larceny Vs. Robbery
Larceny is the basic theft crime in California.
Theft can happen in a hundred different ways, from online identity theft to lifting a phone left in a library to pedaling off on someone else's bicycle.
Robbery is one
California Robbery Laws
California robbery law defines the crime in Penal Code Section 211. Robbery involves taking another person's property against her will through the use of threats or force.
Compare this to larceny or theft, defined in California Penal Code Section 484 as
Overlap of Robbery and Larceny
Larceny is not always robbery since some types of theft do not include threats or force, but all robbery
A few examples help clarify the differences:
It is larceny if someone sees a motorcycle parked on the street at night, hot-wires it and then steals it. It is robbery if someone sees a person parking a motorcycle on the street, approaches him, forces her to hand over the keys and drives off.
A larceny can turn into a robbery in the right circumstances. For example, if someone breaks into a vehicle and grabs a cell phone from it, that's a larceny offense. But if the owner returns during the theft, and the thief threatens her with a weapon
California robbery laws classify
- The victim of the robbery is a driver or passenger of some transportation for hire, like a bus, taxi, Uber or Lyft, streetcar, trolley or train.
- The robbery occurs in a structure or vehicle where someone lives, like a house, an apartment, a live-on boat or a tent where people are camping.
- The robbery occurs at an ATM the victim is using.
What about a house when nobody is there? Under California robbery laws, a building, vehicle or other structure
Penalties for First-Degree Robbery
In California, first-degree robbery is always a felony. A defendant convicted of first degree robbery can receive felony probation, a fine of up to $10,000, and/or a three-year, four-year or six-year term in California state prison.
The potential prison term increases if a defendant works with others to commit the robbery.
Second-Degree Robbery in California
- Felony probation and/or
- a fine of up to $10,000 and/or
- a term in
prison of two years, three years or five years. state
Multiple Robbery Charges
A charge of robbery does not depend on
Enhanced Punishment for Gun Use
California penalties for robbery as set out in the statute are the base sentences for the act of robbery. Complicating circumstances can increase the penalties. If the thief uses a gun during the robbery or causes great bodily injury, the potential sentences can go up. These are
The California law that sets out increased penalties for those who use guns in the commission of robberies
Under that law, the penalties for committing robbery go up significantly when the thief uses a gun. A judge must sentence someone convicted of using a firearm in a robbery to:
- 10 years in state prison for
using a firearm in a robbery. personally
- 20 years in state prison for intentionally firing a gun during a robbery.
- 25 years to life for causing a person great bodily injury or death with a firearm during a robbery.
Great Bodily Injury Enhancement
If a convicted thief causes a robbery victim great bodily harm, his sentence can
California's Three Strikes Law
California enacted the original three strikes sentencing law in 1994. It
In time, Californians began to feel that this law was inequitable and should
Attempted Robbery in California
Just as robbery is punishable by time in state prison, attempting to commit a robbery is also a crime. Under Penal Code Section 211, read together with Penal Code Sections 664 and 21(a), a person can
Under PC Section 664, anyone who tries to commit a crime but doesn't go through with it
Note that the direct step has to be more than just a desire to commit the crime. It must be a clear step toward commission of the crime, a step that would have succeeded absent some intervening cause. If the individual abandons the plan before taking this direct step,
Penalties for Attempted Robbery
California Penal Code Section 664 sets the penalties for attempting a crime at one-half the potential state prison or county jail sentence for the underlying offense and/or half the maximum potential fine.
That means that the penalties for attempted first-degree robbery will be a fine of up to $5,000, and/or an 18-month, two-year or three-year term in California state prison. For attempted second-degree robbery, the penalties are a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a 12-month,
as the taking of another person's property through the use of force or threat of use of force. Considered a felony, punishment may be probation, a fine and/or prison time. robbery is defined
- Shouse Law: Robbery
- Wallin and Klarich Law: What to Expect if You are Charged with Larceny in California
- Jerry Nicholson Law: California’s Theft and Larceny Laws
- Criminal Defense Lawyer: Differences Between Theft, Burglary and Robbery
- Find Law: California Theft/Larceny Laws
- Onecle: California Penal Code 211
- Onecle: California Penal Code 664
- California Courts: Three-Strikes Law
- Shouse Law: Attempted Crimes
- Onecle: California Penal Code 12022.53
Teo Spengler earned a JD from U.C. Berkeley Law School. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an MA and an MFA in English/writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.