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Home Invasion Robbery vs Regular Robbery


Why are Home Invasion Robberies Treated Different than Regular Robberies in California?

Obviously, anytime someone is going into somebody else’s home that’s a real concern for prosecutors, judges and law enforcement.  They all view things from an eye that the victim in the case could be them.

In other words, they don’t want people going into other people’s homes committing violence against them, robbing them, holding their family hostage, kidnapping them — these are the types of things that end up happening when somebody commits a home invasion robbery.  That’s why these robberies are a different twist than a normal robbery.

Robbery is the Use Of Force to Take Property

A normal robbery under California Penal Code 211, believe it or not, can be as simply as someone using force or violence to take a person’s phone away from them.

California Penal Code 211 - Robbery

Robbery under PC 211 is the use of force or violence to Take someone’s property.

Could you imagine the difference between breaking into someone else’s house, holding everybody at bay, taking their things, threatening them versus just snatching somebody’s phone away from them and running away.

Both those cases are technically robberies, but when you go into somebody’s home that’s where you start to get into an issue that prosecutors and judges obviously want to send people to prison.

It’s going to be a strike on your record, and a lot of times you’re looking at many years in prison depending on how you effectuated the robbery.

Difference Between PC 211 Robbery and PC 459 Burglary

In other words, was a gun used?  Was a knife used?  Was there more than one defendant involved?  That’s another thing that we see a lot in these home invasion robberies in los Angeles county is that it’s a number of people that are involved.

It’s not just one person going in.  Its multiple people going in.  Then you start to talk about what’s the difference between a robbery and a burglary.  People get those terms confused as well.

In a robbery, there’s going to be someone there, present and you’re taking their property.  You’re breaking in in their presence, their home.

A burglary under California Penal Code 459 on the other hand, typically you’re going to break into somebody’s home and the person is not going to be present.

So, that’s a difference and obviously, robberies are treated much more seriously than burglary cases.  If someone’s present during a burglary but they don’t have any type of contact the the perpetrator, that’s still a strike.  It would be served at 85%.  It’s considered a violent felony.

Robbery is a Violent Felony and a “Strike” in California

That starts to give you an idea of why when someone’s home and that person is perpetrating a crime against them, why it’s so serious, and when you start to look at the difference between home invasion robbery and just a regular robbery, first you have to understand what a regular robbery is.

A regular robbery in Los Angeles county is using force or fear to take somebody’s property away from them.

Home Invasion Robbery Charges in California

Home invasion robbery is California is a violent felony crime and a “strike” under the three strikes law.

Fear would be that you would threaten the person, for example, and say hey listen, if you don’t give me that property, I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to stab you, I’m going to kill you — whatever the case may be.

Force is actually using physical force to take the person’s property away.  Maybe you grab a chain from their neck and run away.  Maybe you snatch something out of their hands.  That would be an example of using force to commit a robbery.

Another interesting thing that we see is this concept of what if you when you take something you don’t use any force, there’s nobody present and in your escape you’re confronted as a robber and you end up using force in your escape.

You fight the person.  You hit the person.  You threaten the person.  You use a weapon against the person.  Now they’re going to make it into a robbery because they’re going to take that force and they’re going to pretend like it occurred at the time you took the property because you’re using it in your escape.

Home Invasions Normally Involve Multiple People

You really start to get a feel as to a regular street robbery is a lot different than a home invasion robbery because the home invasion robbery is usually planned.  It has multiple people involved.

A lot of times there are weapons.  Sometimes people are tied up, they’re duct taped.  They’re with their family.  A lot of times there might even be children present.

Home Invasion Robbery Charges in California

A PC 459 home invasion robbery is usually planned and involves weapons.

So, these home invasion robberies, in my experience — and I’ve been doing this now for 26 years — are treated much more differently and harshly than just a general robbery.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.

Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 374-3952.

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Named Top Los Angeles Criminal Attorney by LA Times and named one of the Top 100 criminal defense attorneys in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association. I'm the attorney other lawyers hire to defend them.

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