When you think of violent crimes, your mind most likely goes to murder, rape, and assault. The last crime that you may think of when it comes to violent crimes is theft.
But robbery is different. While technically a theft crime, it is also an assaultive crime, and as such, can be classified as a violent crime. When you have been accused of a robbery, you need to reach out to the criminal defense lawyers at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm in Killeen and Copperas Cove.
What is robbery?
Robbery is a criminal offense where a person takes, or attempts to take, another person’s property through the use of force or a threat of using force. This criminal offense is a combination of threat and assault. To be found guilty of robbery, the state must prove you tried to take something of value from another person or their presence and that you did so with the use of violence or the threat of violence.
What does “the victim’s person or presence” mean?
For a robbery charge to have some validity, it must be proven that you stole something of value from the victim’s person or presence. The victim’s “person or presence” means that you are accused of taking property directly from the person or within their vicinity. A mugging would be an example of this, where the property is taken directly from the person.
Another example might include taking something from an unattended purse or bag. If it was hanging on the back of a chair and the owner of the bag was across the room, this is an example of taking something from a victim’s presence.
Remember, however, that robbery charges must involve violence or threat of violence.
What are the elements of robbery?
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:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
- intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
One of the most important elements of robbery is the use of violence or the threat of violence. This is the element that separates robbery from the other charges related to theft, like larceny. For you to be charged with a robbery offense, you must have committed the act of theft using the threat of violence or the act of violence.
Let’s say that you did not use violence while committing a theft but used threats to intimidate the victim. There are certain criteria that the threats must be scrutinized under to determine whether you can be charged with a robbery. If you issued imminent threats where serious consequences like death, serious bodily harm or destruction of property are implied, a theft charge can transition to a robbery offense. The victim must also have a reasonable fear that the imminent threat was real and had a strong possibility of being carried out.
What are the different robbery offenses?
Texas recognizes two forms of robbery: the charge we discussed above, and aggravated robbery. Aggravated robbery is defined like this:
A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Section 29.02, and he:
- causes serious bodily injury to another;
- uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
- causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
- 65 years of age or older; or
- a disabled person.
Other types of theft crimes, like carjacking, also fall under the umbrella of robbery.
What are the legal penalties of a robbery conviction?
Because robberies are always felonies in Texas, you are at risk of suffering serious penalties if you are found guilty of this charge. If convicted, you can face up to 20 years in prison, in addition to paying a fine of up to 10,000 dollars. If you are facing an aggravated robbery charge – a felony in the first degree – you are at risk of suffering even more severe penalties. You also run the risk of not being eligible for probation with an aggravated robbery offense.
Why you need a criminal defense lawyer in Killeen or Copperas Cove
When you are facing a robbery offense, things can get overwhelming fast. You might feel as if you do not have any legal rights to protect you from facing criminal consequences. The truth is that you do. You can reach out to an experienced Killeen lawyer who can provide efficient and strategic legal defense.
A Killeen criminal defense lawyer can incorporate different defenses to work to have your penalties significantly reduced. Your attorney can use these defenses to have your offense dismissed or negotiate for a plea bargain on your behalf. If the plea bargain does not serve your best interests, we will not accept it and will fight for the best legal outcome for your case.
At Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, we understand how detrimental a robbery offense can be for your personal and professional life. Our criminal defense lawyers will work harder than anyone to make sure that your legal rights are protected. Call us today at 254-680-4655, or fill out our contact form. We represent clients in and around Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belmont and Temple.
I’ve dedicated my legal career to defending my clients. I demand all the evidence. I investigate all the facts, the so-called witnesses and even the police officers. I make it my business to know the law. Cases can be won or lost before you even set foot inside the courtroom.
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