Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney




2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

San Diego Robbery Attorney

California law defines robbery as the taking of another person’s property, from their immediate presence, using force, fear, or intimidation. By this definition, many suspected thefts may be upgraded to felony robbery charges based on the complainant’s perception. In fact, virtually any person present during the alleged offense can claim to have been forced, frightened, or intimidated into compliance, leading to charges of robbery.

A conviction for robbery can lead to serious criminal penalties and life-long consequences. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, a person convicted for a first-time offense of robbery in San Diego County may be facing up to nine (9) years in prison and violent felony strike under the Three Strikes Law. It is presumed under law that those convicted of robbery offenses should go to state prison, as opposed to receiving a probationary jail sentence. How are you going to take control of your case, and your future, when charged with a robbery offense?

Robbery Charges in San Diego

Robbery charges are different from theft charges, in that robbery charges include an added component of violence, whether potential or realized.  California Penal Code 211 describes robbery as the forceful or intimidating theft of property, from another person, while they are present.  PC 211 labels any qualifying offense a felony, leading to high minimum penalties for conviction.  A robbery may occur in the first or second degree.

First-Degree Robbery

First-degree robbery charges apply to incidents in which the alleged offense include any of the following:

  • Robbery of a person currently accessing or who has recently accessed an ATM
  • Robbery of a commercial driver or their passenger(s), including delivery drivers and public transport operators
  • Robbery of an inhabited dwelling, which may include a home, apartment, outbuildings and other structures

Charges of robbery in the first degree carry more potential time in prison.  A conviction for first-degree robbery in the State of California can lead to penalties ranging from:

  • Up to nine (9) years in state prison
  • A fine up to $10,000
  • A strike under the Three Strikes Law
  • Parole upon release from prison

Second-Degree Robbery

A lesser charge compared to first-degree robbery, robbery in the second degree is still a serious and violent strike felony charge.  Second-degree robberies include any robberies unclassified as first-degree robberies.  This means any accusation of a robbery outside the parameters of a first-degree robbery charge will naturally be charged as a second-degree offense.

Charges of robbery in the second degree can include the following consequences:

  • Two (2), three (3) or five (5) years in state prison
  • A fine up to $10,000
  • A strike under the Three Strikes Law


Robbery Sentencing Enhancements

Charges of armed robbery may result from accusations of first- or second-degree robbery.  These cases call for sentencing enhancements under PC 12022.53.  Other aggravating circumstances which may add to sentence severity can include:

  • Alleged physical contact with the complainant or injury
  • Separate accusations of robbery from multiple parties
  • Criminal background, previous prison sentences, and any prior strike convictions

Robbery Defense in San Diego

In order to convict you of robbery, the prosecution will try and prove that you:

  1. Took the property of another;
  2. From their immediate presence;
  3. Against their will;
  4. Through force, intimidation, or fear; AND
  5. With intent to deprive the owner of the property

An effective defense will challenge each element of your charges.  An effective defense can lead to a reduction or even dismissal of your charges.

A successful defense against robbery charges in San Diego may include:

Lack of Force, Fear, or Intimidation

The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that force, fear or intimidation was used.  You cannot control other people’s emotions.  A person’s alleged intimidation or fear is largely subjective and can be challenged in court.

A Genuine Belief of Ownership.

Retrieving something you believe belongs to you is not a robbery – even if the property is, in fact, not yours.  A skilled defense attorney can help illustrate your genuine belief of ownership and fight PC 211 charges.

Mistaken Identity

Eyewitness accounts can be surprisingly unreliable.  Too often, cases of mistaken identity lead to charges of robbery for innocent people.  A defense attorney with a history of successfully defending against robbery charges can challenge the way in which the identification occurred, seeking doubt on the strength of the identity if not getting the identification suppressed altogether.

False Accusations

As with all criminal charges, there is always someone willing to make a false accusation of robbery.  A false accusation does more than merely disrupt your personal and professional life; it can ruin your life by taking you away from everything you love: your home, your family, your professional, and your good reputation.

Your case will have unique details which may weigh heavily in developing your personal defense strategy.  Schedule a case consultation with a team member at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro to learn how you can regain control of your future when charged with robbery in San Diego.

Client Reviews

Real Clients Share Their Experience

“I found myself in trouble once again. I contacted David after looking through avvo. I went in with realistic goals and David helped me achieve what I wanted. Communication is a big deal when dealing with your lawyer. Just like most people i had alot of question and concerns throughout the whole ordeal. David was very easy to get a hold of. He returned my calls and emails in a timely manner and his receptionist effectively relayed message when contact between David and myself was not possible. I would highly recommend David as an attorney.”

—Johnnie C.  –  Avvo Review