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jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience:  Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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What are the legal elements of california penal code

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Client asks us to defend him in a criminal case where he has been charged with robbery in violation of penal code section 211 and burglary in violation to penal code section 459 arising from the following incident: Client entered a store to purchase beer for a party. Client selected two twelve packs of bottled beer. When he reached the check out counter, he realized he left his wallet in his car. Client put down one of the twelve packs, and began to walk outside of the store to his car. Once outside, a store security agent told client he was under arrest and asked him to return to the store. Client is on probation for theft and says he panicked. He dropped the twelve pack, causing several bottles to break and then pushed the security agent out of the way and ran to his car. Review relevant statutory and case law to determine the likely theories of liability that will be asserted, client''s legal defenses, and the likely outcome based on the facts shown above. Report in a memo.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  jamest replied 8 years ago.
Penal code
211. Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

Robbery could not stand as he committed the battery not in furtherance of the theft, but to escape arrest for a larceny. When he left the shop, there was probable cause to stop him for larceny. His dropping of the beer however abandons his larceny attempt, and at that point he is attempting to escape. robbery would not be appropriate. Based on these facts alone there is cause for a larceny and a battery charge, but not a robbery charge.

Under 459 if he is taken at his word, that he had no intent to commit the theft when he entered the store, he would not be guilty of burglary. Burglary in this case would require a intent to commit theft prior to entering the store, since he had no intent to commit an offense at the time of entry, burglary does not apply. see penal code 459 (relevant portion only)
459. Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement,shop, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.

HIs leaving of 1 of the 12 packs would seem to corroborate his statement that he did not enter with intent to steal. Whats more the battery transpired outside the shop as opposed to inside, so the only way burglary could stand is if they could prove intent to steal the beer prior to entry. Upon his leaving the building the agent had probable cause to stop him for larceny, as that is a reasonable view of the events. His battery on the agent is again to further an escape from arrest for larceny, as he had abandoned criminal intent to continue the larceny.
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