Robbery and Aggravated Robbery, Houston, TX
WHAT IS ROBBERY IN TEXAS?
Robbery is a theft committed with the added element of bodily harm or threats of harm. Section 29.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines Robbery as follows: (a) A person commits an offense if, in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
The typical robbery scenarios are obvious and require little explanation. There are other scenarios, however, that are not so obvious. For example, did you know that a simple case of shoplifting can quickly and unexpectedly turn into a robbery where there was no such intent when you walked into the store? Consider the following scenario: you walk into Walmart, take a $20 DVD off the shelf and hide it under your shirt or stuff it in your purse. You walk out without paying and as soon as make it out the door a loss prevention officer follows you out, confronts you about taking the DVD and asks you to come back inside to the loss prevention office. You think you have a better idea and decide to make a run for it. The loss prevention officer chases you. The loss prevention officer catches you and in the tussle to get away the loss prevention officer is injured (scrapes his knee when you push him, gets a scratch on his hand from your nails, gets a black eye when your elbow accidentally hits him — you name the scenario). What would otherwise have been a class C misdemeanor theft punishable by a fine is now a second degree felony robbery punishable by 2 years to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Why? Because a person with greater right to ownership of the property stolen was injured (only bodily injury is required, which is nothing more than the person felt pain) in the course of the theft. Making a run for it after committing a theft is considered “in the course of” committing a theft.
WHAT IS AGGRAVATED ROBBERY IN TEXAS?
Aggravated Robbery is a much more serious proposition. Section 29.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines Aggravated Robbery as follows: (a) A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Section 29.02, and he (1) causes serious bodily injury to another; (2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or (3) causes bodily injury to … or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death … if the other person is (A) 65 years of age or older; or (B) a disabled person. Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony punishable by 5 years to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Every day we see news reports of aggravated robberies. Violent images of bank robberies, convenience store robberies, liquor store robberies, home invasion robberies, carjackings, people attacked at gunpoint and their money and property taken from them. These are crimes that drive law enforcement to find the perpetrators and solve the cases quickly and prosecutors are driven to push for lengthy prison sentences.
Aggravated Robbery is treated as seriously as Murder by law enforcement and prosecutors for a variety of reasons. Under Texas law, Murder and Aggravated Robbery are both first degree felonies and have the same punishment range. It is a crime that has a long-lasting traumatic impact on complainants. It often results in serious injury to complainants and is the primary underlying crime in Capital Murders. This point bears repeating. If a murder is committed in the course of an Aggravated Robbery, the accused will be charged with Capital Murder, which is punishable by death or life in prison without parole.
Juries treat defendants they find guilty of Aggravated Robbery harshly because Aggravated Robbery is something they fear most next to sexual assault and death. It’s a crime most people are afraid of because anyone can be a victim anywhere, anytime and it’s in the news every night.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a long-standing policy, as do many other prosecuting attorneys offices, against offering deferred adjudication (the only type of probation available in certain aggravated cases) to defendants charged with Aggravated Robbery. If you are charged with Aggravated Robbery, you have a serious fight on your hands because all the prosecutor wants is for you to go to prison.
CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR ROBBERY OR AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
A conviction for Robbery can result in a sentence of 2 years to 20 years in prison. However, a conviction for Aggravated Robbery can result in a prison sentence of 5 years to 99 years or life. If convicted of Aggravated Robbery, a defendant must serve at least 50% of his prison sentence before he will be eligible for parole.
The collateral consequences of a Robbery or Aggravated Robbery conviction can be devastating. Robbery or Aggravated Robbery allegations and convictions not only carry with them a negative social stigma but can substantially impact many aspects of your life, including employment, professional licensing, child custody, loss of security clearance or the inability to obtain security clearance, the ability to rent an apartment or home and the inability to obtain a loan.
Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are crimes of violence under Texas and federal law. A person charged with Robbery or Aggravated Robbery who is not a United States citizen faces serious immigration consequences. Under federal law, a conviction, which includes a guilty plea that results in a deferred adjudication, will result in deportation, denial of re-entry into the United States and denial of naturalization.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE CHARGED WITH ROBBERY OR AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
Call Brian Roberts because the right lawyer makes all the difference in Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases. This is not the time to go bargain hunting for cheap lawyers or lawyers who make promises of an easy resolution because it will be, without question, the worst and most expensive decision you will ever make. There is no easy resolution to Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases. Robbery and Aggravated Robbery are high stakes charges that require the talents and services of a top lawyer to handle your case. Brian Roberts is that lawyer. Brian has handled numerous Robbery and Aggravated Robbery cases as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer and he is the right lawyer to fight the State if you are charged with Robbery or Aggravated Robbery. Brian is the lawyer you need with the experience you want.
BRIAN M. ROBERTS HAS EARNED THE CONFIDENCE OF HIS CLIENTS BY DEVELOPING A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE SPECIFICS OF EACH CLIENT’S CASE
Call for a free consultation at (713) 237-8888.
Brian M. Roberts serves clients in Harris County and surrounding counties.
When your life and liberty are at stake, you need a lawyer who knows how to navigate the complicated criminal justice system. Brian M. Roberts believes that every client deserves a strong defense, whether they are a first-offender or someone with multiple convictions. As a criminal defense attorney, Brian M. Roberts has extensive experience and will wage a strong defense for you. Do not hesitate. If you have a problem, we encourage you to call us today for your free, confidential consultation.