Understanding The Different Types Of Robbery Charges

robbery charges

In Texas, there are two types of robbery charges: robbery and aggravated robbery. These charges are serious and can result in significant fines, jail time, and other collateral consequences. If you have been charged with robbery, you need a high-quality, top-rated criminal defense attorney working on your case.

Houston criminal defense attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, represent clients who have been charged with robbery in Texas, and we understand that a robbery conviction can have severe consequences for our clients and their families. We fiercely advocate for our clients’ rights and work to secure the best possible outcome in every case.

Elements Of Robbery In Texas

In general, theft is defined as unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. In Texas, theft can be charged as the more serious offense of robbery when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person during the commission of a theft.

Under some circumstances, theft can be charged as robbery even if no one was seriously injured. When a person intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of immediate bodily injury or death during the commission of a theft, the perpetrator can be charged with robbery.

Aggravated Robbery Elements

The crime of robbery can be charged as aggravated robbery under the following circumstances:

  • Another person suffered serious bodily injury during the robbery.
  • Another person, over 64 years old or disabled, suffered bodily harm or was threatened or in fear of immediate bodily harm or death.
  • A deadly weapon was used or exhibited during the robbery.

A deadly weapon is broadly defined under Texas law to include a firearm or anything else that can be used to cause death or serious bodily injury. For example, an automobile, a hammer, a baseball bat, or a rope may be considered a deadly weapon depending on the specific case facts.

Defending Your Robbery Charges

You should never assume that robbery charges will result in a criminal conviction. Prosecutors often file charges hoping that defendants will attempt to represent themselves at trial or plead guilty to the charges. Many defenses can be raised in criminal cases that may result in reduced charges, dismissed charges, or a not guilty verdict.

If you have been charged with robbery, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you defend those charges and protect your future. Your attorney may negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors, provide evidence showing that law enforcement officers violated your constitutional rights, or put together a solid defense that demonstrates your innocence.

Texas Robbery Charges Defense Attorneys

If you are facing robbery charges in Texas, criminal defense attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, can help. Contact our office at 713-229-9992 or leave us a message online to schedule a consultation. These charges are serious, and only a dedicated law firm with a proven record of success should be entrusted to handle your case.

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What’s At Risk If You Are Convicted On A Robbery Charge?

robbery

Robbery typically results from the theft of another person’s property by force or violence or with the threat of force or violence. During a robbery, the perpetrator always uses a weapon or threatens to use one. States like Texas have harsh penalties for robbery charges that may include up to 20 years in prison or probation and fines reaching up to $20,000.

Robbery is a serious crime with severe consequences, but some defenses might be available to you. Therefore, it is imperative that you secure the best criminal defense attorney possible to represent you in your case.

Robbery Classifications

In order to fully understand robbery charges in Texas, it’s helpful to understand criminal law classifications.

Criminal law classifies charges in different ways. A crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony is further classified as first, second, or even third degree.

Texas classifies robbery as a second-degree felony with a potential of up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. To convict a defendant of robbery, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while committing theft, the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to another. The State may alternately prove that the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threatened the victim or caused the victim to fear bodily injury or death.

A robbery charge is elevated to the first-degree felony of aggravated robbery if the charge includes bodily harm or injury to a victim, a deadly weapon was used or exhibited, or a person over age 65 or disabled was placed in fear of harm or death. Aggravated robbery is punishable by up to ninety-nine years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Robbery Sentencing And Penalties

When a robbery case goes to trial, it is the jury that determines a defendant’s guilt or innocence. The judge is responsible for sentencing the defendant. Robbery penalties are set forth in Texas criminal statutes. Judges rely on the criminal robbery statutes to help in deciding a possible range of punishment.

Judges next look to any aggravating or mitigating factors to determine the exact sentence to put on the defendant. Aggravating or mitigating factors might include the defendant’s age, the existence of prior arrests or convictions, and other details surrounding the case.

Restitution And Other Possible Penalties

In a robbery conviction, there are possible punishments beyond prison, probation, and fines. These may include restitution to the victims or community service. Once again, the judge takes any aggravating or mitigating factors into account when deciding on the exact sentence and related penalties to give a defendant after conviction.

Often, the judge will consider the following:

  • The value of the stolen property;
  • The degree of violence or intimidation used; and
  • The nature of the victim to reach a suitable punishment.

The use of a weapon during a robbery is an aggravating factor, as is a defendant’s criminal record. Mitigating factors might include the return of the stolen property, admission of guilt, or lack of criminal history.

Long-Term Effects Of A Texas Robbery Conviction

There are consequences of a felony conviction beyond a prison sentence, fees, fines, and restitution. These consequences remain in place long after a defendant serves their criminal sentence for the robbery offense.

  • A convicted felon may not vote or serve on a jury or grand jury. These rights may be restored by a judge upon successful completion of a felony sentence and probation;
  • Individuals who have been convicted of a felony cannot hold an elected public office position. They also cannot possess a firearm for a period of five years following their release from incarceration, supervision, or parole;
  • There are employment opportunities that individuals who have been convicted of a felony may not pursue such as auctioneer, insurance agent, dental hygienist, marriage counselor, registered nurse, chiropractor, or psychologist; and
  • Non-U.S. citizens may face special consequences related to their immigration status if convicted of or even accused of committing a felony offense. It is very likely that those with no lawful immigration status will face deportation proceedings. Legal residents, or those with green cards, could also be subject to deportation for committing criminal offenses.

An Experienced Houston Criminal Law Attorney Can Help

Rather than face any of these consequences, contact an experienced criminal law attorney in Houston as soon as you learn of your robbery charge. The attorneys at Vinas & Graham have the resources and experience needed to defend your rights. The sooner you seek help, the faster one of our attorneys can start working on a possible defense. Follow and like us on Facebook for other Texas criminal law information.

When Is Robbery A Federal Crime?

FEDERAL CRIMES

The crime of robbery is a type of theft crime. According to current law, robbery is considered to be a class of theft that includes some act of violence or the threat of violence against one or more persons while committing the theft.

In the American legal system, robbery is typically handled in state court as a crime against a particular state. Every state and other jurisdiction of the United States has a local state-level robbery law that enables prosecution of robbery in a state court. In addition to state-level robbery, under federal law, there are certain classes of robbery crimes that are prosecuted in federal court as crimes against the United States federal government.

The General Elements Of The Crime Of Robbery

The general elements of the crime of robbery are consistent throughout the United States. To be found guilty of robbery, the government must prove that a defendant:

  • Took property belonging to others,
  • With the intent to steal the property,
  • Directly from the other person or persons or in their presence,
  • Against the other person or persons’ will,
  • Using violence or the threat of violence.

Depending on the actual statute a defendant is charged under, the state may have additional elements of the charged crime that must be proven in court.

The key distinction between robbery and other theft crimes is the requirement that the theft is accomplished through direct personal violence or the threat of direct personal violence. Because violence is the core element of the crime, all robbery crimes are serious and carry significant penalties on conviction. The violence used in committing the crime does not have to be deadly violence.

ROBBERY

A jury can find that the government has proven the violence requirement if enough violence was used or threatened against a victim to force the victim to give up their property against their will. Every situation is different, and every jury must weigh the facts in evidence to determine if violence was used or threatened.

Federal Robbery Crimes

The United States has enacted a number of statutes that provide for certain robbery crimes against the federal government.

The following situations, in addition to the normal elements of the crime of robbery, can lead to prosecution under federal law:

  • Committing robbery by stealing any property belonging to the United States
  • Bank robbery (Banks are considered to be bank buildings and any building where a bank is located, for example inside a grocery store or big-box retailer)
  • Committing robbery against a federal employee or agent (for example, a postal employee)
  • Committing robbery of a controlled substance from any person registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency as a distributor of controlled substances (for example, robbing drugs from a pharmacy)
  • Carjacking any vehicle that can be used on interstate highways (this statute applies to a robbery of any vehicle that is used on the public roadways)

Federal robbery statutes can legally apply when the victim of the crime is a federal officer or someone registered to handle federal property or controlled substances under the law, or when the items that are stolen are either federal property or used in interstate transportation or commerce.

Sentencing And Penalties For Federal Robbery

Federal robbery crimes carry from ten years up to the death penalty under certain circumstances (for example, bank robbery resulting in death) per conviction.

FEDERAL CRIMES

Following a federal conviction, sentencing is always conducted by the federal trial judge. Unlike the Texas state court, there is no provision under federal law for the jury to conduct any sentencing. Federal sentencing is governed by sentencing guidelines under federal law and is very different than sentencing under state law. Understanding the multiple layers of federal sentencing is an essential tool for an effective federal criminal defense attorney in properly representing and advising a client facing a federal robbery case.

Contact An Experienced Federal Criminal Attorney To Defend You Against Federal Robbery Charges

A robbery charge under federal law involves all the complexities of the federal criminal court system. Defending against federal crimes involves criminal statutes and sentencing guidelines that are entirely different from the Texas state criminal court system. Effective defense of charges in federal court requires the help of an attorney who is experienced in the federal system.

It is also essential that you consult with an experienced federal criminal attorney as soon as possible when you have been arrested or questioned in connection to a federal robbery case. Moving quickly is key to protecting your rights, preserving essential evidence, and developing an effective defense to a federal case.

Contact Vinas & Graham, PLLC, today if you or a loved one has been charged with robbery in federal criminal court at (713) 229-9992. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Robbery Defenses: What Strategies Can The Defense Use?

Robbery charges

Robbery is a very serious crime that can change a person’s life drastically with serious implications. While a mere arrest does not necessarily result to a severe punishment, a robbery conviction will leave you with a felony record, significant fines or even incarceration. For this reason, it is imperative that you hire a competent defense attorney in Houston TX so they can implement the right defense strategies right away and save you a lot of trouble.

What are the possible defense strategies for robbery charges?

Innocence

During a criminal prosecution, it has to be proven that the defendant committed that crime without any reasonable doubt. This is a burden of proof and it means that the defendant can avoid being convicted of attacking the evidence presented by the prosecutor. The defendant can also offer evidence that undermines that of the prosecutor.

For instance, a defendant could bring forth alibi evidence that they had been out of the state when the robbery took place. They could also say they were at a certain event during the time of that robbery and they have the witness to corroborate that fact. The defense can also challenge security videos or eyewitness identifications as well as any other evidence that the prosecutor has.

Actually, the defense doesn’t necessarily have to convince the jury of innocence, all they need is to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecutors’ argument for the jury to return an acquittal.

Intoxication

The defendant can offer proof of intoxication as well. This can be an affirmative defense to Houston robbery charges.

Voluntary intoxication – In Houston, TX, voluntary intoxication is not an excuse to commit robbery but the defense might be able to plead for lesser charges after they have already been declared guilty.

Involuntary intoxication- If intoxication was beyond the defendant’s control then it can be an excuse for any crime committed during intoxication. However, the defendant will need to come up with proof that they were intoxicated without knowledge or against their will.

Duress

In case the defendant is able to prove that they were forced by someone else to commit the robbery by threatening them either with bodily harm or death, they could have a complete defense. However, proving duress can be quite difficult and most courts normally reject this defense strategy because the defendant had opportunities to avoid committing the crime without risking harm or death but did not do it.

Entrapment

In case someone pushed the defendant into committing the robbery that they would not have committed on their own, the defendant will have an entrapment defense. However, these defenses are quite hard to prove. In any case, if the defendant is able to prove that the person they robbed instigated everything just so that they could make the charges against them, the argument could be that the victim entrapped the defendant into committing the crime.

If the defendant, on their own, has decided to commit that crime, they would not be able to use the entrapment defense strategy.

Final thought

Considering how serious Houston robbery charges are and the impact they could have on your life, the best strategy for you is to get a qualified and competent defense attorney who will put the best defenses forward for your case. An experienced attorney will evaluate your case and know exactly what will bring the best results for you.

 

Robbery Charges and Penalties

Robbery Charges

Robbery charges typically result from the act of taking something of value from a person in their presence using either force or violence or a threat of force or violence. During a robbery, the perpetrator always uses a weapon or threatens to use one. In most states, there are harsh penalties for robbery charges including up to 20 years in prison or probation and fines reaching up to $ 20,000.

Criminal courts in Houston, TX, take robbery very seriously and it is penalized very severely. When you get arrested for robbery, it will feel as if no one is on your side and as if everyone is against you. This is why you need to hire the best defense attorney you possibly can so they can do their job at getting you out of the mess you got yourself into.

Robbery is classified in three different degrees although the second degree is the most common. To make you fully understand what Houston robbery charges entail and what a criminal is likely to face, herein are a few things that will help you.

Different types of robberies

Criminal laws classify charges in different ways. For instance, a crime could be a misdemeanor or a felony and could range from a first, second or even third degree as well. This means the sentencing guidelines are different for each category and they also vary depending on the circumstances of the robbery. For specific information on a case, a professional defense lawyer in Houston, TX will help out well as required.

Misdemeanor– The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the value of the stolen property. The standard threshold is usually $, 1000 and below that point, it is a misdemeanor. Penalties will be determined on past convictions as they increase the jail term and even fines as well.

Felony theft– When the value of the stolen property goes beyond $1,000, the charges becomes a felony. The penalties depend on the value of the property. Anything from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000 could evoke up to 15 years in prison and $ 10,000 in fines. Anything that values beyond $ 10,000 gets more serious penalties compared to the others.

Armed robbery– The circumstances usually determine the outcome of the case. If there is a deadly weapon involved, it becomes a serious felony categorized in the third degree. If there is a threat to use a weapon, even if there is no weapon present, the charges are just as serious because the criminal instilled fear in their victims.

Carjacking– Carjacking is a felony and the penalties are determined by the fact that the criminal was armed or not. This could lead up to 30 years in prison.

Robbery Classification

Second-degree robbery

Generally, Houston robbery charges are considered a second-degree felony with a potential of up to 20 years in prison. For a criminal to be convicted, the prosecutor will need to prove without any reasonable doubt that they caused bodily harm to their victims either intentionally, knowingly or even recklessly. The prosecutor also needs to prove that the criminal knowingly or intentionally threatened or placed the victim in fear or bodily harm or even death.

Third-degree robbery

Houston robbery charges can be elevated to a third-degree felony if the charges are far more serious than those of a second-degree felony. This is when the charges become aggravated robbery charges. This means that the criminal in addition to all the things mentioned in a second-degree felony:

· The criminal also caused bodily harm or injured a victim.

· Used or exhibited a deadly weapon.

· Threatened to harm or placed fear of death to a person who is either 65 years of age or more or even the person was disabled.

However, regardless of the robbery charges, a criminal will be facing severe consequences that will change their whole life. Apart from serving time in a prison, the charges will remain on their record for the rest of their life as well, which can impact a lot of things negatively once they get out of prison.

Conclusion

Fortunately, the constitution gives even criminals rights and all they need to do is get the best attorney in Houston to defend those rights well as needed. A competent defense attorney can help a robbery case and lessen the impact it could have on someone’s life.