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Robbery and Aggravated Robbery in Texas

Updated: Mar 19

When it comes to theft crimes in Texas, the line between simple theft and more serious charges like robbery or aggravated robbery can sometimes be blurry. Today, we're going to explore the differences between robbery and aggravated robbery, the punishments associated with each crime, and the potential defenses that may be available to those charged with these offenses.


Robbery: The Basics

Under Texas law, robbery is considered a more severe form of theft. It's classified as a second-degree felony, which means that a conviction can result in substantial prison time and hefty fines. The primary distinction between theft and robbery is the use of force, threat, or fear during the commission of the crime.


To convict someone of robbery, the prosecution must prove that the defendant:

  1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person or

  2. Intentionally or knowingly threatened or placed another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death while

  3. In the course of committing theft.

Robbery is a favorite charge of the State in a shoplifting-gone-wrong case. The defendant tries to leave the store with the property, loss-prevention personnel try to stop him, he pulls away, and the store security guard falls down and bangs his knee. Suddenly a misdemeanor shoplifting case has become a second-degree felony.


Aggravated Robbery: A Step Further

Aggravated robbery is an even more serious charge than robbery. It is classified as a first-degree felony, with even more severe penalties upon conviction. Aggravated robbery occurs when a defendant commits robbery and also:

  1. Causes serious bodily injury to another person, or

  2. Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime, or

  3. Commits the offense against a person who is 65 years of age or older, or a person with a disability.

Punishments for Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

The consequences of a robbery or aggravated robbery conviction are quite severe. For robbery, a second-degree felony, the potential punishment includes:

  • 2 to 20 years in prison, and

  • A fine of up to $10,000.

For aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, the potential punishment includes:

  • 5 to 99 years or life in prison, and

  • A fine of up to $10,000.

Defenses to Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

If you're facing robbery or aggravated robbery charges, it's essential to have a top criminal-defense attorney on your side who can help you explore potential defenses. Some common defenses in robbery cases include:

  1. Lack of intent: If the defendant did not have the required intent to commit theft or use force or threats, they cannot be found guilty of robbery.

  2. Mistaken identity: The defendant may argue that they were not the person who committed the crime, and the victim or witnesses may have misidentified them.

  3. Duress: The defendant may claim that they were forced to commit the robbery under threat of harm to themselves or someone else.

Of course, every case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your situation. If you're facing robbery or aggravated robbery charges, it's crucial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights and start building a strong defense.

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