Two San Diego men suspected of robbing a marijuana dispensary in Banning have been arrested. According to reports, the men robbed the facility shortly before closing. During the robbery, they allegedly shot and stabbed at least three people. Both men will face criminal charges for robbery.
Understanding Robbery in San Diego
Robbery is the crime of taking property directly from another person through the use of force or fear. It is similar to other crimes of theft, but unique because it requires that property is taken:
- From the “immediate presence” of a victim; and
- Using force or fear.
What does it mean to take something from a person’s immediate presence? In the most basic sense, immediate presence means taking something that a person is holding, occupying, or wearing. This could include a watch, wallet, or purse on a person’s body.
Immediate presence can also mean taking something that is within another person’s reach. Let’s go back to the men who robbed the marijuana dispensary. They may have stolen property directly from customers and employees. However, most of the things they stole, including money, drugs, and paraphernalia, were likely within the reach of employees. If the employees were close enough to the property and could have kept “possession of it if not prevented by force or fear,” it would be considered to be in their immediate presence.
Force or Fear
Robbery also requires that a theft involve the use of force or fear. It is important to understand that you must enter the situation and intend to use force or fear to steal property. If you decide to steal property and then resort to force or fear, you will face charges for a different crime.
Example 1: John drives to a liquor store with the intent to steal money from the register. He enters with a gun and points it at the clerk as he demands money. Since John entered the situation with the intent to use force to steal the money, he can be charged with robbery.
Example 2: John is shopping in a liquor store when he notices an expensive and rare bottle behind the counter. The clerk walks away to help a customer, so John slips behind the counter and tries to steal the bottle. The clerk notices and confronts him. John reaches into his pocket and pulls out a knife to threaten the clerk. Since John did not enter the situation intending to use force or fear, he will likely not be charged with robbery. He can, however, be charged with other crimes.
Causing Injury During a Robbery
The men who robbed the San Diego marijuana dispensary may be facing additional penalties for their crime since at least three people were injured. Why? California’s great bodily injury enhancement can apply when you commit or attempt to commit a felony and cause another person to suffer a serious physical injury.
Second-degree robbery in San Diego is typically punishable by 2, 3, or 5 years in a California state prison. If the great bodily injury enhancement is imposed, the men could face an additional 3 to 6 years behind bars.
The men may also face criminal charges for attempted murder in addition to those for robbery. A thorough investigation into the crime will help the state determine which charges are most appropriate.
Are you or someone you love facing criminal charges in San Diego? Members of our criminal defense team are always standing by to help you understand your rights. Call us today to learn more.