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Secrets to Defending a Robbery Case

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Jun 06, 2024

I'm offering some secrets and insights into defending a California Penal Code 211 PC robbery case for those charged with robbery and their family members. 

I've been handling these cases for over 30 years on the defense side. I started out working for the prosecutors, then a superior court judge, and finally, in the early 1990s, I started defending robbery cases all over the country. I have some things I want to impart to you.

First and foremost, one secret is to try to get rid of the robbery charge either by way of changing the charge to something different, like a grand theft person, which is not a strike or not a violent felony, or going to jury trial and having your client found not guilty.

The final way to get rid of a robbery charge is to convince the prosecutors they simply can't prove the case.

PC 211 says, "Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished using force or fear."

What is the Use of Force or Fear?

In a robbery charge, you must prove that somebody took somebody else's property by force or fear. For example, somebody ran by an individual, grabbed their purse, ripped it off their body, and ran away with it. That would be a robbery by way of force.

Another way you could see it happen is if someone comes up to somebody with a gun and says, hey, look, give me everything you have, or I'm going to shoot you. The person gave them all of their jewelry, wallet, etc., which would be an example of a robbery by fear. You scared the person.

What we need to do is try to convince the prosecutors that you don't meet one of these ramifications, meaning you did not specifically take property by force or fear.

What is an Estes Robbery?

Another angle I see the prosecutors trying to use to get somebody for a robbery is what they call an Estes. That is based on a case, People v. Estes, where a defendant went and took something.

Nobody was around, so the prosecutors couldn't get him for the force and fear aspect, but what happened during the escape was that he used force to leave the location where he had stolen.

He pushed somebody and got away. The prosecutors argued, and they were successful, that they were able to convince the judge that during an escape after a theft if a person uses force or fear, that individual can be charged with robbery as well.

What are Mitigating Circumstances?

What we have to do is convince the prosecutors that the person who is being charged with the robbery should not be charged with robbery. They shouldn't have to take a strike on their record.

They shouldn't be saddled with a violent felony and possibly prison time. The way you do that is to show unusual circumstances. Examples are:

  • This person has no prior criminal record.
  • Nobody was hurt.
  • No weapon was used.

Therefore, they really shouldn't have to plead to a robbery. Even though they might technically meet the parameters of a robbery, they don't necessarily fit within the framework of the law to take such a severe conviction, especially in California, where you can never get it off your record if you're convicted of a robbery.

What is a Mitigation Package?

We also get a mitigation package with character letters and good things about our client. Again, we are trying to convince the prosecutor and the judge that they shouldn't fall into the robbery category.

Secrets to Defending a Robbery Case
PC 211 robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another.

Also, if a person is guilty of something, we want to try to come up with a crime other than robbery to avoid the strike and all the bad things that come with a robbery conviction.

For example, if you've got a grand theft person, that's not a strike. That can be reduced to a misdemeanor and eventually dismissed off the person's record. So, that's a beautiful result.

Indeed, one of the secrets to getting rid of a robbery case is getting some other charge. Of course, if we can convince the prosecutors that you're not the person who committed the robbery, that would be another way to do it. The way that we must think of to get rid of cases is to take the case to trial and get a not guilty verdict.

Whatever the case, you want an attorney who knows all the secrets and tricks of defending a robbery case. You've come to the right place. If you need the best, call now and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I'm ready to help. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.