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What Is Robbery In Texas

Robbery in the State of Texas is defined as taking another person’s property with the intent of obtaining and maintaining control of the property. And they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury or threaten and place them in fear. An example of this would be someone holding a gas station employee at knifepoint forcing them to hand over money. This is a common scene in The United States, as we have seen this play out many times before. Another example is someone rushing into a store and grabbing everything they can and putting it into their purse, pockets or bag before shoving and pushing their way past employees, trying to stop them.

In the State of Texas, there were 22,439 robbery incidents in just the state alone. Robbery is not an uncommon crime; as we all know catalytic converters are easily stolen from cars. And we all see the parking lot sign warning us not to leave electronics or belongings in the car for fear someone might come along and take them.

Aggravated Robbery

Aggravated robbery is defined as the same robbery, but with the use of a deadly weapon and when serious bodily injury occurs. Also, the State of Texas Penal Code 29.03 includes, if the robbery is committed against an older person at least 65 years old or a disabled person, the charge is upgraded to an aggravated assault.

The State of Texas Penal Code 29.03 also defines a disabled person as someone who is mentally, physically or developmentally disabled that they cannot protect themselves from harm. An example of this is pushing an old lady down, causing her ankle to twist and break or pull a ligament, or breaking a hip as you snatch her purse from her and flee from the scene. This would be an aggravated robbery because serious bodily injuries and damages happened to an older lady who was an elderly woman.

Penalties and Limitations of The Crime

Robbery is classified as a second-degree felony; this kind of robbery carries the potential of 2-20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony that carries the potential of 5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The statute of limitations for both robbery and aggravated robbery is five years. If a crime is committed and not reported within five years, then the prosecutor or state can not charge you for that crime. Another penalty you might receive is restitution.

Restitution is a court order that orders you, the defendant, to pay the injured party so the person you injured is compensated for any losses that happened as a result of the crime you committed. Restitution is separate from fines, court costs and attorney fees and should be considered when you are facing a robbery charge. Restitution is intended to help restore the injured party to help the injured party return to his or her place of normal living before the crime happened. It also helps deter criminal behavior by the defendant by making the defendant take financial responsibility and recognize the cost associated with the crime he or she has committed.

Restitution is applied when the crimes cause damage, loss or destruction of property or if returning the original stolen property is impossible or an inadequate remedy. It can also be applied to the personal injuries the other party received, such as medical bills, missed checks due to loss of earnings due to not being able to go to work as usual, insurance co-pays and deductibles. Restitution can also be accomplished by the defendant performing services instead of money, such as community service. Also, the injured party can consent for the defendant to allow for restitution to be made to third-party organizations, such as charities or non-profit organizations. If you are unable to pay for restitution to the injured party, then the injured party can seek a restitution lien.

A restitution lien is when the prosecutor can prepare and file a lien against the defendant’s property. For example, if a business owner of a café was injured during a robbery and the defendant was not able to pay for the business owner’s bodily injuries caused because of the defendant, then the owner could file a lien against the defendant’s house, car or other assets the defendant might have to secure payment for the business owners bodily injuries.

Defenses That Can Be Used Against Robbery

The first defense step is to always get an attorney who will have your best interests at heart that can help you build a strong defense case for you. Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have attorneys who specialize in criminal law and always work for the best interests of our clients. Robbery is a felony and the consequences are severe for this type of crime and can be complicated for you to handle on your own.

One defense that can help you is an alibi. If you can have a witness state you were elsewhere when the crime was committed, then that will probably help remove you from the case. Having an alibi is a great way to prove innocence because you can supply eyewitnesses to prove you were not at the crime scene when it happened. This can help you or your attorney to challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including their eyewitness statements or any video recording that they may have in their possession. Another good reason to have an alibi is because of mistaken identity, which is possible to happen with this type of crime.

Mistaken identity is another defense to use in robbery cases during your hearing or trial, as most robbers wear face-covering clothes or masks that can hide faces and make it hard to identify the robber. When robbers use clothes or masks to hide their faces, it makes it harder for the injured person to identify him or her. And when a lineup is presented to the injured party, this can cause the injured party to only base their decision on height, mass or how they sound. This can make identifying the defendant difficult and obscure, as the crime can be an intense scene and the injured party might not be able to remember everything clearly. This also makes it hard to know if the prosecutor is pursuing the right person.

Also proving no bodily injury happened to the victim during that crime can greatly reduce the charges you are facing from robbery to theft. That greatly reduces the consequences from a felony to a misdemeanor. The highest theft charge that is still a misdemeanor is a class A; which is theft of $750 to $2,500 and is punishable by up to a year in jail with a fine up to $4,000. For example, say you have a cleaning lady, and unbeknownst to you, she takes jewelry or trinkets from around the house. This is not robbery, this is theft as no one was hurt or felt threatened, but the property was taken without your consent.

Duress can also be claimed if you were forced or coerced into robbing a place against your consent. To prove this, you would have to testify against the person that forced you into committing the crime. This may help reduce your sentencing, but it is best to be represented by a defense attorney and to check with your defense attorney to see if this kind of defense applies to your case.

Sentencing for Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are both considered felonies, with the sentencing of 2-20 years in prison and 5-99 years in prison for aggravated robbery. They both have fines of up to $10,000 if committed.

Another factor that can help reduce your sentencing is your criminal history. Sometimes when you go to your hearing, the judge will look at your background and check if you have had any other criminal charges against you. If you don’t have any prior criminal charges, then the judge could reduce your sentencing if this is your first offense, however, there is no guarantee this will be done. The judge can also reduce sentencing based on the motive of the crime. For example, stealing groceries or stealing medicine for your family or a sick loved one, is still not justifiable, but depending on the judge, he or she may have sympathy and lower your sentencing.

The role you take in the crime can also lower the sentencing. For example, if you were the accessory and not the main offender for the crime committed, then the court can determine to lower the severity of the consequences.

Criminal Procedure for Robbery

To briefly explain what the court’s criminal procedures would be, there must first be a criminal complaint, most likely a statement from law enforcement. The police would then send the charges over to a prosecutor to review them, then a warrant for your arrest would be filed and you would be arrested. You would then appear before the court and the judge would review your charges, hear your plea and depending on your plea, you will be fined or your case could be continued to another date and time. If this happens, you will have a waiting period before the next court hearing. During this waiting period you will have the time to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney, if you do not have the money to hire an attorney, you will be assigned an attorney by the court.

You can then talk to your Criminal Defense Attorney and you will have the time to tell your attorney what happened and submit any evidence or witnesses you might have. Depending on what you and your attorney decide, you can submit a plea bargain to the prosecutor or continue to trial. Either one you decide to choose, it is always best to make sure you fully understand the terms you are agreeing to and make sure you have the best defense attorney to help you through it.

Need Help? Call Us Now!

If you find yourself or someone you know who are facing these charges, do not hesitate to call us. It is vital to get ahead of your case to provide you with the best possible outcome. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have criminal attorneys with the knowledge and know-how experience in criminal law who can help you navigate through the court system. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan provides free consultations at your convenience via Zoom, phone or in person. We want to provide you with as much information as possible, so you can have the best defense on your side!

Call us now at 281-810-9760

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