Shoplifting offense may seem like a minor offense. Many times, shoplifting is punished with a slap on the wrist, a few days in jail, and/or fines. In California, shoplifting charges can escalate quickly if the shoplifter engages in violent, threatening, or intimidating behavior. A momentary lapse in judgment – perhaps an overreaction to a loss prevention officer’s pursuit – could turn a minor offense into a major infraction with life-altering consequences.
If you have been arrested and charged with Estes Robbery in California you should not hesitate to contact an experienced Los Angeles Estes Robbery criminal defense attorney. Estes Robbery is a felony offense and a conviction could significantly alter your ability to live a free and productive life. An attorney will ensure that your legal rights are respected that attempt to have the charges against you reduced or thrown out. Contact us today to learn more about how we may be able to help you fight the Los Angeles Estes Robbery charges pending against you.
What is Estes Robbery?
Estes Robbery is the crime of petty theft that escalates into a robbery. For example: a shoplifter enters a store, conceals merchandise, and walks out. When he or she is confronted by security or loss prevention officers the shoplifter engages in violent, intimidating, or harmful behavior. In order to fully understand what this means it is helpful to understand each of these crimes.
Petty theft is the unlawful taking of property of another person with the intent to permanently deprive that person of its use and enjoyment. The value of the property taken must be less than $950.
Shoplifting is a separate criminal offense in California that includes the act of petty theft. Shoplifting occurs when a person enters a commercial store during regular business hours with the intent to commit a petty theft.
Robbery is the taking of personal property of another person from his or her immediate presence using force, violence, or intimidation. The value of the property is irrelevant.
So, you can see that Estes Robbery is a sort of hybrid of petty theft/shoplifting and robbery. The crime starts out as a petty theft but escalates to a robbery when the shoplifter uses force, intimidation, or violence against a pursuing officer.
Why is it Called Estes Robbery?
The term “Estes Robbery” is derived from a 1983 court case involving a man named Curtis Estes. Estes attempted to shoplift a vest and coat from a Vallejo, California Sears and Roebuck store and was chased down by store security. Estes – who at this point in time was only guilty of petty theft – resisted the security officer’s attempts to restrain him and bring him back to the store. As he resisted, Estes pulled a knife, waved it in the officer’s direction, and threatened his life. Estes was convicted by a jury for robbery with a deadly weapon and petty theft. Since then, instances of shoplifting gone wrong have generally been referred to as Estes Robbery.
Will California Always Charge Estes Robbery After an Escalated Petty Theft?
The short answer is no. In some cases, especially if the forceful behavior is minor, a prosecuting attorney may decide to charge the defendant with commercial burglary. Commercial burglary – also known as Second Degree Burglary – is a charge that sits (in terms of severity and seriousness) somewhere between petty theft and robbery. A commercial burglary occurs when a person enters a commercial business with the intent to steal another’s property.
Conviction of a commercial burglary requires showing intent to enter and steal property. It may be beneficial to agree to a reduced charge of commercial burglary, however, because it is a wobbler. This means that it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. An experienced Los Angeles Estes Robbery defense attorney will fight to help you obtain the least severe charge for your crime.
Penalties for Estes Robbery in California
In California, Estes Robbery is officially charged as Second Degree robbery. The penalty for Second Degree robbery depends on the criminal history of the defendant and the facts and circumstances surrounding the specific case. However, Estes Robbery is generally punishable by 2, 3, or 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
- Three strikes and you’re out. Robbery is considered a ‘strike’ for the purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law, which means that a convicted defendant must serve at least 85% of the assigned prison sentence before becoming eligible for early release.
- Estes Robbery with a Gun. If a gun is involved in an Estes Robbery the sentence could be increased. If you display a gun the sentence may be increased by 10 years. If you discharge a gun the sentence may be increased by 20 years. If you discharge a gun and injure another person the sentence may be increased by 25 years or land you in prison for life.
Experienced Los Angeles Estes Robbery Defense Attorneys
Robbery is a serious crime in California, and a conviction could land you in prison for up to 5 years. If you are arrested for Estes Robbery in California after a shoplifting attempt went bad, contact experienced Los Angeles Estes Robbery criminal defense attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez.
Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, Ambrosio E. Rodriguez spent more than 13 years as a Senior Deputy District Attorney. This experience gives him unparalleled insight into an understanding of how the prosecution approaches Estes Robbery cases. He uses this knowledge and experience to pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to reduce the charges against his accused clients. Contact the law office of Ambrosio E. Rodriguez today to learn about how he may be able to help you fight the Estes Robbery charges pending against you.