In movies and television, robbery is often portrayed as someone using a gun to take money from someone operating the cash register at a liquor store. The legal definition of robbery, however, is much broader. It is the taking of another’s property from his person or his immediate possession, against his will, by force or fear, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner. Permanently can include taking the property for such a period of time that the owner is deprived of the major portion of its value.
Robbery is set forth in California Penal Code § 211. It is known as a “violent felony,” which means it is a “strike” under California’s “Three Strikes” law (California Penal Code §§ 667.6(b) – (j) and 1170.1).
Robbery is punishable by two to nine years in state prison per victim if there are no enhancements to the sentence. Usually, however, there are enhancements, especially with robbery. Enhancements add to the sentence based on one’s use of a gun (Penal Code § 12022.53 – ten years, twenty years and life), infliction of great bodily injury (Penal Code § 12022.7 – three to six years more), committing the offense for the benefit of a criminal street gang (Penal Code § 186.22 – ten years more), having served time in prison (one year added) , or having a prior “strike” or “strikes” under California’s “Three Strikes” law (this can double the sentence or impose a minimum 25 year sentence).
A robbery conviction can also lead to deportation if one is not a U.S. citizen. Deportation proceedings usually commence after one finishes serving time in prison.
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