Experienced Fresno robbery defense attorney Michael McKneely knows that people are wrongfully accused of felony crimes every day. Whether because of mistaken eyewitness testimony or other factors, robbery charges can devastate your life. It can be an emotional period for you and your loved ones, and you may be concerned about spending time in prison. With over 10 years of courtroom experience as a California criminal justice attorney, Mike will work tirelessly to reach the result you deserve. Contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442 for a free consultation.
According to the Innocence Project, 344 convictions have been overturned and defendants exonerated thanks to DNA testing and other reliable forms of evidence. Of those convictions, more than 70 percent were originally based on eyewitness testimony alone. While eyewitness testimony has been proven to be often unreliable, police and prosecutors continue to base build cases on it without any other corroborating evidence. It is often times all that is needed to convict someone of robbery.
Defining Robbery in California
California’s Penal Code Section 211 defines robbery as taking someone’s property from their immediate person. This must be done against the victim’s will through the use of force or fear to qualify. The following situations are considered forms of robbery under California law:
- Stealing items from a person while they are drugged
- Threatening a person once they have seen that something has been stolen from them
- Threatening residents of a home with physical violence before stealing something
- Pushing a security guard out of the way while shoplifting
Regardless of how the crime is committed, robbery is classified as a violent felony under California law and is a strike under the Three Strikes Law. This means that if you have already committed one or two serious or violent crimes, you will be facing double the usual sentence or 25 years to life.
Criminal Penalties for Robbery
California separates robbery into degrees. First degree robberies are committed in someone’s home, against the operator of public transportation, or at an ATM machine. All other robberies are second degree robberies, although both are classified as violent felonies.
First Degree Robbery
The penalties for first degree robbery are severe. They include:
- 3, 4, or 6 years in state prison if the crime was committed alone
- 3, 6, or 9 years in prison if the crime was committed in collaboration with two or more others
Second Degree Robbery
While second degree robbery is not punished as harshly, it is still classified as a violent felony (or ͞strike͟) and is punished by:
- 2, 3, or 5 years in a state prison
Prosecutors and courts can increase your sentence for additional negative conduct. These are called enhancements. The sentences below are in addition to the base sentence for robbery if these enhancements are proven.
- Causing Great Bodily Injury – 3 to 6 years in prison
- Using a gun—10 years in prison
- Firing a gun—20 years in prison
- Harming or Killing with a Firearm – 25 years to life in prison
Talk to a Fresno Robbery Defense Attorney Today
There are a number of strategies that a skilled robbery defense attorney in Fresno can employ on your behalf against your robbery charges. Call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (559) 443-7442 to set up a free consultation. If you’re facing robbery charges in California or are under investigation, preserve your legal rights by contacting us right away. Fresno criminal defense lawyer Michael McKneely has been on both sides of the criminal justice system, so he knows what to expect and how to make the process easier for you.