Punishment for Both a Robbery and Burglary In California

In People v. Green (1985) 166 Cal.App.3d 514, the court found that substantial evidence supported the trial court's determination that a burglary and robbery did not constitute an indivisible course of conduct. the court explained: "There was no indication the intruders were aware that Ms. L. was in the residence when they entered. the record clearly establishes that Green and his companions entered with the intent to commit theft, as evidenced by the companion's inquiry as to the location of certain property and the taking of the stereo and cash. The burglary was thus properly punished separately from the rape and robbery which occurred when, having unexpectedly come upon Ms. L. in the bedroom, Green raped her and one of the men removed the rings from her fingers." (166 Cal.App.3d at p. 518.) Likewise in People v. Dugas (1966) 242 Cal.App.2d 244, the court rejected defendant's argument that section 654 barred punishment for both a robbery and burglary conviction where the victim came home during the course of the burglary. The court explained, "In the instant case, the evidence clearly supports a finding that the burglary, consisting of the breaking and entering with intent to steal, had already been accomplished when Schuler returned to the apartment. Up until this point, defendant might have had no intent to commit a robbery, as opposed to a theft, and might well have broken into the apartment only after he had taken steps to ascertain that it was unoccupied at the time. It is equally possible that defendant's intent to commit a robbery and to forcibly deprive Schuler of articles in his immediate possession did not arise until the latter returned and entered the apartment. Under such circumstances, it is apparent that the two crimes cannot be deemed part of an indivisible transaction incident to the same objective and that there is accordingly no merit to defendant's contention that he was wrongly subjected to double punishment." (242 Cal.App.2d at p. 251.)