Texas is known for its strong sense of independence, but it also has a strong sense of justice. In Texas, everyone’s home is considered that person’s castle. So, personal property is heavily protected — both legally and personally. The personal property crimes of theft and robbery are prosecuted on a regular basis in the State of Texas, and they can some with severe penalties. However, they are not equal crimes according to Texas Law. Theft and robbery are seen as different crimes in Texas, with robbery being the more severe of the two.
What’s the difference between theft and robbery in Texas?
In the State of Texas, the difference between theft and robbery are in their degree and in their specific actions. Theft is generally considered to be a smaller and less serious crime, while robbery is considered to be much worse and will come with harsher penalties. Texas robbery is considered to be an aggravated form of theft. To be charged with robbery, all the following conditions of theft must be present:
- You took someone else’s property or money without permission.
- You removed the property from its appropriate location.
- You planned to keep it forever.
Several other factors must be present as well. You must have taken someone else’s property directly from that person, against his or her will, and through intimidation, force, threats, or violence. These actions are treated much more harshly under Texas Law.
What is the legal definition of robbery in Texas?
According to Section 29.02 of the Texas Penal Code, a robbery occurs when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to someone else while committing an act of theft. If you push someone down before stealing their wallet, you could get a robbery charge in Texas (regardless of how much was in the wallet). Unlike theft offenses (which are based on the value of the stolen property), robbery is based on the amount of force used while performing the theft. Texas robbery is considered a second-degree felony and carries a punishment of 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
What is aggravated robbery in Texas?
According to Section 29.03 of the Texas Penal Code, aggravated robbery occurs when someone uses or exhibits a deadly weapon, causes serious bodily injury, or causes bodily injury to an elderly or disabled person while in the process of committing the crime. Here are some examples of aggravated robbery in Texas:
- Going into a convenient store, pointing a gun at the clerk, and stealing the money out of the cash register.
- Severely beating someone and stealing something that belonged to that person.
- Hitting an elderly or disabled person with your fist before taking that person’s property.
Both aggravated and armed robbery have more serious consequences than a common robbery. Aggravated robberies are considered to be first-degree felonies and can lead to 5-99 years in prison (or even a life sentence) and a fine of up to $10,000.
What are the consequences of a robbery conviction in Texas?
If you’re convicted of common or aggravated robbery in Texas, you could face a long prison sentence or period of supervised probation. But after that, you’re prospects for employment will be very limited. If you’re a licensed professional, your license could be suspended or even revoked (depending on the outcome of the case). All felony convictions are reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety and become a public record that can be viewed by employers and others who may need to see it.
What are some possible defenses against a robbery charge in Texas?
Some of the important defenses in common and aggravated robbery cases include but may not be limited to:
- Mistaken identity.
- Alibi (you can prove that you were somewhere else at the time of the crime).
- There was no bodily injury.
- The weapon exhibited was not a deadly weapon.
With a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi, you might be able to get a more desirable outcome (such as the reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor or lower felony degree, being placed on deferred adjudication, or even a dismissal). The facts of your specific case, the testimony of the witnesses, the pre-trial investigation, and hiring a qualified attorney will determine the outcome of your case. You can’t afford not to hire an attorney to help you with any criminal charges you’re facing.
If you want to work with the best criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.