What Constitutes Aggravated Robbery in Texas?

In Texas, robbery is a very serious offense that can lead to criminal charges. Since it’s often seen as a violent crime, being accused of robbery can bring tough consequences from the police, and the person might be charged with a felony. But it can get even more serious in some situations, where the charge can be raised to aggravated robbery.

Getting convicted of aggravated robbery comes with even harsher penalties. Aggravated robbery is a major criminal offense that involves not just robbery but also extra factors that make it worse.

This blog clarifies how robbery becomes aggravated in Texas, outlining key details and penalties to offer a concise understanding of this serious offense.

What is Robbery?

Before delving into more serious acts of robbery, let’s first understand what simple robbery is. Robbery is a type of stealing where someone takes another person’s things by:

  1. Force
  2. Physical violence
  3. Threats

This is different from committing theft because it’s seen as a violent crime. Even if the attempt to steal is unsuccessful, engaging in threats or force while trying to take someone’s belongings is still regarded as robbery. In Texas, robbery is a serious crime, and if convicted, it could mean time in state prison and fines.

What is Aggravated Robbery?

Aggravated robbery is a more serious form of this offense. An aggravated robbery conviction in Texas can lead to a sentence ranging from five to 99 years, and in some cases, the judge may decide on a life sentence. Because armed robbery is considered a “3g offense,” there’s no possibility of probation for the defendant.

Under Texas Penal Code Section 29.03, aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony. To prove this offense, it’s not just about showing robbery but also demonstrating that, during the robbery, the person did one or more of the following:

  1. Imminent bodily injury or death – In this case, there’s no evidence that the victims were seriously hurt; they were scared but not injured.
  2. Targeted elderly or disabled victims – Since the victims’ ages aren’t mentioned, it’s assumed they weren’t elderly or disabled, making this factor not applicable.
  3. Exhibits a deadly weapon – The item presumed to be a firearm was, indeed, determined to be a toy. It is evident that a toy gun does not meet the classification of a deadly weapon.

Penalties and Consequences of Aggravated Robbery Charges

Aggravated robbery sentences is much more severe than for regular robbery. Aggravated Robbery is a very serious crime and if you’re found guilty, it can lead to major changes in your life. There is a possibility of serving a prison sentence and facing substantial fines. And it’s not just about that – it could affect your job, housing, and future plans.

In Texas, aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony. If convicted, you might face:

  1. Up to 99 years in prison
  2. A fine of up to $10,000

How long you stay in prison depends on aggravating factors like:

  • Your past criminal record
  • If you caused serious injuries
  • If the victim is at least 65 years of age
  • Whether or not a weapon was used
  • If the victim is disabled
  • If anyone got hurt or killed during the crime

Legal Defense

Defendants charged with aggravated robbery may employ various legal defenses, including:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the accused did not have the intent to commit robbery or cause serious bodily injury to another person.
  • Mistaken Identity: Providing evidence that the defendant was wrongly identified as the perpetrator.
  • Self-Defense: Arguing that the defendant used force in self-defense or defense of others.
  • Coercion or Duress: The defense may assert that the accused was forced or threatened by another party to commit the robbery, establishing a situation of coercion or duress.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: If evidence was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, the defense may file a motion to suppress such evidence, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case.
  • Miranda Rights Violation: If the accused was not informed of their Miranda rights during the arrest and interrogation, any statements made during that time may be inadmissible in court.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

Dealing with charges of aggravated robbery is a big deal and needs a careful and smart strategy. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is not just something you can do legally, it’s a really important step to make sure you get the best result in a tough legal situation.