Yes, a petty theft can become a robbery. California Penal Code (PC) 484 Petty theft is stealing proerty $950 or less in value, PC 211 robbery is the taking of property against someones will using force or fear. The Courts have ruled that someone who steals property and then uses physical force, like pushing or fighting with a security guard while trying to get away is sufficient to escalate the misdemeanor petty theft which carries up to 6 months jail to a felony robbery which carries up to 5 years state prison and is a strike under the three strikes law.
These types of petty theft robbery cases many times can be negotiated to lesser charges and sometimes even misdemeanors. There are a number of considerations which need to be addressed during the plea bargaining process in order to get the best resolution possible. Prior record of the defendant is a major factor as well as how much force was used by the person charged. A persons background and circumstances also are very important. Things like prior military service, PTSD, mental health issues, age, background, education, occupation, drugs or alcohol involvement and many other things are sconsidered.
Seeing an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon is possible can help you do the things that will improve your chances of a better resolution, whether its theft classes, anger management, psychological evaluation, restitution, alcohol or drug treatment or something else. Christoph Law Offices offer free consultation and evaluation by calling 760-670-3885. Experienced and professional, we can help you achieve the best result in you case.