Sec. 29.02. of the Texas Penal Code establishes the definition of robbery. Under Texas Law, robbery entails causing or threatening harm during a theft. In Section 31.03., Texas Penal Code defines theft as an unlawful appropriation of property. Robbery is a more severe crime than theft since it involves violence or the threat of violence accompanying an attempt to take personal property. A classic example of robbery is a bully extorting lunch money from a victim using violence or threats of violence.

Personal property refers to anything that a person can remove from the land. It can be tangible or intangible. Tangible property includes valuable objects that a person can physically touch. Examples include jewelry, watches, machinery, and electronics like computers and televisions. Intangible property refers to things of value that a person cannot touch. Intangible personal property can have a social, reputational, or monetary value. Digital property is immaterial. Intellectual property, ideas, and secrets are intangible. For example, patents, copyrights, and investments are property with intangible value. Personal property also encompasses documents that stand for or embody value, including paper money.

Austin Robbery Lawyer | Travis County, TX

If a person used force or the threat of force to take possession of the property of another, the crime of robbery has occurred. If convicted of robbery, serious criminal penalties will apply. If you have been arrested for robbery, you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer on your side that has the experience you’ll need in your corner to mitigate what could be life-changing circumstances.

Attorney Jackson F. Gorski is an experienced Austin theft crimes lawyer who understands the nuances related to successfully defending a person facing allegations of robbery. Call [phone] to schedule a free consultation today.

The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown, TX.

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Robbery in Texas

A person commits robbery when, during or following a theft, the individual intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly harms another person. Notably, the person must have performed the violence or threats with the requisite mental state of knowledge or recklessness.

  • When the violence is intentional, the person acts purposefully and deliberately.
  • Acting with knowledge means understanding that the actions would cause injury to another person.
  • Recklessness refers to a state of mind that lacks the care a reasonable person would take
    • Thoughtless conduct can indicate a reckless mental state

Under Texas law, an individual can also perpetrate robbery by threatening a person or placing a person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death. The individual must intend to threaten or put the victim in fear of imminent bodily injury or death or do so knowingly. For instance, suppose an individual steals from a grocery store, brandishing a gun at staff and patrons, and never fires the weapon. Even though the individual did not physically harm anyone in the store, the state of Texas can charge this person with robbery because the person with the gun made the patrons and staff fear immediate harm.

Suppose a person is sitting on a bench in the park when a perpetrator approaches them. The robber brandishes a baseball bat at the person and demands the person’s backpack. The person refuses to give the backpack, and the police arrive. In that case, the State can charge the perpetrator with robbery. Even though the robber did not complete the theft, the robber threatened the victim while attempting to take the victim’s personal property. Now imagine the same situation, but the victim gives the robber the backpack this time. Again, the State can charge the perpetrator with robbery in this case.

In addition to being distinct from theft, robbery is different from burglary. Burglary entails entering a home or private property to steal, whereas robbery entails using violence or threats to take property.

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Elements Of Robbery

A Texas court can find that a person has committed robbery when the prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

  • The defendant committed or was in the process of perpetrating a theft
  • The accused intended to deprive another person of the property and exert control over it
  • The accused intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly harmed another person or threatened to hurt someone

An individual need not have succeeded in the theft attempt to face robbery charges. A person can commit robbery while trying to steal something, during the commission of the theft, or in an immediate fight following the attempted or completed theft.

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Penalties for Robbery

In Texas, robbery is a second-degree felony. According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, the court can sentence a guilty individual to a range of two to twenty years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.

In addition to the sentence, a robbery conviction can harm a person’s life in many ways. When the court convicts a person of robbery, the person becomes a felon. When released from prison, felons face severe social stigma and can have difficulty securing employment.

Plea bargains can impact the severity of a sentence. Before a trial, the prosecutor might offer the defendant a plea bargain. If the conditions are acceptable, the defendant might accept the plea deal. In a plea deal, the prosecutor might offer to drop a robbery charge down to a theft charge or reduce a charge of aggravated robbery, a more severe crime, to standard robbery. Those who choose to accept a plea deal can receive lesser sentences compared to the punishments they might have gotten if the judge or jury found them guilty at the trial. Prosecutors can also bargain for information about individuals who might have committed more severe crimes or might have led the criminal operation.

Acquiescing a plea deal can have benefits and drawbacks. Plea bargains provide greater certainty and help a person receive a less severe charge or sentence. Before taking a plea deal, individuals accused of robbery should consult with their attorney. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help those charged with robbery navigate the legal system, negotiate with prosecutors, and evaluate the merits of a proposed plea deal.

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Additional Resources

Section 29.02. of the Texas Penal Code – Section 29.02. of the Texas Penal Code defines robbery and outlines the elements of the crime. The prosecution must establish each piece of the crime to prove that a defendant committed robbery. Although theft and robbery share similarities, the Texas Penal Code elucidates the differences between these offenses. Additionally, the Texas Penal Code states the general penalties for robbery.

Section 12.33. of the Texas Penal Code  – Section 12.33. of the Texas Penal Code outlines the penalties for second-degree felonies, including robbery.

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Georgetown Robbery Attorney | Williamson County, TX

Robbery & Aggravated Robbery charges can be life-changing for the worse for defendants lacking legal counsel to match their charges. Austin criminal defense lawyer Jackson F. Gorski stands ready to defend the accused, and has the experience you’ll need to make progress in the legal system.

Even if you’re guilty as charged there are numerous defense options for your case and, in addition, a challenging burden for the prosecution to deal with. In general, the defendants who get the worse sentences are the poorly defended and those who choose to defend themselves. If you’re ready to obtain victory in the courtroom, The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski will stand by your side.

Call [phone] to schedule your first consultation with [firm] as soon as possible.

Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.

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