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PC 213(b) Attempted Robbery Laws in California

PC 213(b): Attempted Robbery Laws

Legal Definition: “(b) Notwithstanding Section 664, attempted robbery in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.”

A robbery is:

  1. You took property that was not your own;
  2. The property was in the possession of another person;
  3. The property was taken from another person’s immediate possession;
  4. The property was taken against the other person’s will;
  5. You used force or fear to take the property from the other person, or you prevented the other person from being able to resist; AND
  6. You intended to permanently deprive that other person of the value of the property.

What does this mean?

Robbery is a serious offense classified as the unlawful taking of personal property from another individual’s possession or immediate vicinity without their consent and through the use of force or menace. It is crucial to note that even the attempt to commit robbery is considered a felony charge in California. To put it simply, robbery embodies the act of forcibly seizing another person’s belongings with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Instances like purse snatching or street muggings are common examples, although the value of the stolen item is inconsequential. Even if an individual’s wallet contains no monetary value, the act of taking it by force still qualifies as a robbery.

With regards to attempted robbery, this happens when an individual endeavours to pilfer money from another person’s pocket but is thwarted before the stolen funds can be successfully acquired. While the crime of robbery remains unfulfilled, the act constitutes an offense classified as an attempted robbery under PC 213(b).

It is important to establish that the intent to appropriate the property must be formed prior to or during the use of force or menace. If the intent is formed after the use of force or menace, the offense of robbery has not been committed. Property is deemed to be within a person’s immediate presence if it is adequately within their physical control and could be retained if not for the application of force or menace. The act is considered against a person’s will if they do not provide consent. In order for consent to be valid, it must be given freely and voluntarily with a clear understanding of the nature of the act. It is crucial to note that robbery victims do not consent to being robbed, with the exception of role-playing scenarios.

Within the context of robbery, fear refers to the apprehension of injury to the person, their family, their property, immediate injuries to individuals present during the incident, or harm to their property. The level of force required for a robbery exceeds the incidental contact necessary to accomplish the theft.


A conviction for PC 213(b), Attempted Robbery is a felony-only offense. This means that you can never be charged as a misdemeanor, it can only be a felony offense, which carries the potential for a prison sentence. A conviction under this section can land you in State Prison for 16 months, 2, or 3 years. You would have to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. Since this is only a felony, you would therefore lose your ability to ever own or possess a firearm or ammunition, upon a conviction for this offense. Attempted robbery is only a second-degree charge, there is no first-degree attempted robbery. You cannot ever reduce this charge under a PC 17(b) because it is considered a “straight felony” offense.

This is a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, but it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since this offense could be an aggravated felony under Federal Law, and it is a crime involving moral turpitude. Because this is a strike, any future felony charge would mean your maximum exposure on that new case is doubled, if you have a prior conviction for Attempted Robbery, and then that future case you would serve a minimum of 80% of that time in custody since it is a strike.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Duress
  5. Claim of Right
  6. Coerced Confession

If an individual genuinely believes that they have a legitimate right to a property, even if that belief is mistaken or unreasonable, such belief can serve as a defense against a charge of robbery. This defense is commonly known as the “Claim of Right” defense. For instance, if you find yourself in a department store, unable to locate your purse, and you spot another person with an identical purse and attempt to take it, as long as you reasonably believed it was yours, you cannot be convicted of robbery. This scenario often occurs when you mistakenly believe the item belongs to you, exert force to retrieve it, and promptly realize it is not yours – in such cases, it would be considered an attempt, as you never actually took the item from the other party.

In general, admissions to a crime extracted through coercive or abusive police conduct are deemed inadmissible in court. Logically, if the police illicitly force a confession out of an individual, it should not be admissible as evidence against them. During police interrogations, officers may employ tactics such as physical or psychological abuse and deception, falsely claiming the presence of witnesses or other accusations against the suspect, all aimed at extracting a confession. While such methods are generally considered within the bounds of standard police conduct, there are limits to what law enforcement can and cannot do. When they exceed these limits, the result is a coerced confession. If the police coerced you into confessing to an attempted robbery, consult an experienced Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney who can work towards having that confession suppressed, ultimately resulting in a favorable outcome for your criminal case.

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Facing charges for attempted robbery is not only daunting but can irrevocably alter the trajectory of one’s life. Classified as a straight felony in California, this charge stands unyielding, devoid of the possibility of reduction. Beyond the immediate ramifications, such a conviction imposes a perpetual ban on firearm and ammunition ownership. The potential prison tenure can extend up to three years. Yet, the repercussions don’t halt there. Being tagged with this conviction designates it as a strike offense under California’s Three Strikes law. This means any subsequent felony conviction would see penalties magnified twofold due to the ramifications under PC 213(b).

Confronted with the dire consequences of such charges, it becomes non-negotiable to craft an unwavering defense. Fortified by a rich tapestry of experience, our Ontario PC 213(b) attorney has an illustrious track record, having championed the causes of countless clients across the expansive Inland Empire.

In these turbulent times, anchor your defense with an unmatched legal ally. Engage with the preeminent Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney at Inland Empire Defense. Reach out without delay at 909-939-7126. We’re strategically positioned in Ontario, ensuring seamless accessibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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