Robbery involves taking something by force or threat of force. Robbery is a more serious offense than simple theft because it involves violence or threat of physical harm to another. Robbery is a felony in Texas and can lead to serious jail time.
In some cases, what the police say was robbery involved a misunderstanding or a dispute between two people. You should not have to go to prison because of a disagreement about who owned what. If you or a family member was charged with robbery, contact an Odessa, Texas criminal defense lawyer to understand your rights and how to fight the criminal charges against you.
Texas Robbery Laws
Under Texas Penal Code 29.02, robbery is theft with the intent to obtain or maintain control of the property with involving:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another; or
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening or placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
Theft of property includes both tangible and intangible property, including property taken from land or documents that represent anything of value, like cash or a check.
Robbery Causing Bodily Injury in Odessa
Robbery causing bodily injury does not need to be a serious injury. Any bodily injury that occurs during a theft may be considered a robbery. This includes injury caused to the alleged victim through a fight to maintain the property.
For example, James saw a backpack on a table next to a young woman. James ran up and grabbed the backpack, but the young woman grabbed the backpack strap before James could run off. James yanked the backpack away from the young woman, causing her to fall and sprain her wrist. Even if James initially intended to take the backpack without force, by pulling the strap away from the woman, he may have intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused injury.
Robbery Through Threat of Harm in Odessa
Robbery by intentional threat or placing someone in fear of bodily injury does not require the alleged victim to suffer any physical harm. It is enough to be considered a robbery if the alleged victim had a reasonable fear of injury or death.
For example, Jesse took a pair of sunglasses from the display rack at a retail store and put them in his pocket. Jesse walked towards the door when a manager stepped out and said he needed to pay for the sunglasses. Jesse reached in his jacket and said, “Let me go, or else I'm going to have to hurt you.”
The manager was worried Jesse may have a weapon in his jacket and ran away. Jesse left with the sunglasses. Jesse never had anything inside his jacket, but he wanted to scare the manager away by pretending he may have something in his jacket, like a gun or knife. In this case, even if Jesse was unarmed, he may have committed robbery because he intentionally placed the manager in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
Penalties for Robbery in Texas
Robbery is a felony in Texas and the penalties may depend on the situation surrounding the robbery. In most cases, robbery is a felony in the second degree. The penalties for 2nd-degree felony robbery may include:
- Two to 20 years in state prison; and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Robbery in Texas
Aggravated robbery is a more serious charge than standard robbery charges. Under Texas Penal Code 29.03, aggravated robbery involves committing robbery and:
- Causing serious bodily injury to another;
- Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon; or
- Causing injury to another or placing another person in fear of bodily injury or death when the other person is:
- 65 years of age or older; or
- A disabled person.
Aggravated robbery is a felony in the first degree. The penalties for 1st-degree felony aggravated robbery may include:
- Five to 99 years or life imprisonment; and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Odessa Criminal Defense Lawyer
An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the serious consequences of a felony robbery conviction. Before facing a felony charge on your own, talk to a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you. Your lawyer can identify strong defenses, break down the prosecutor's case, or negotiate a lesser sentence.
A fight over some property could lead to an injury and one person claiming the other stole the property, which can result in robbery charges. If you've been charged with robbery or aggravated robbery in Odessa, Texas, the Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC is here to fight for you. To set up a free consultation, contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach today at (432) 552-7000.