Texas Robbery Laws

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 What Is the Statute of Robbery in Texas?

In the State of Texas, robbery occurs when an individual does any of the following during the course of committing a theft with the intent to obtain or keep control of another individual’s property:

  • Either Intentionally or recklessly causes bodily injury to another individual;
  • Intentionally threatens a person with imminent bodily injury or death;
  • Intentionally puts another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.

What Is the Classification of Robbery?

In the State of Texas, robbery is classified as a felony criminal offense in the second degree. The offense of robbery may also consist of intentionally or knowingly threatening or placing another individual in fear of imminent bodily injury.

The definition of robbery is similar to the crime of assault in many states. In Texas, however, it is robbery.

What Is Aggravated Robbery?

In the State of Texas, an individual commits the offense of aggravated robbery if they commit a robbery and also engages in any of the following conduct:

  • Causes serious bodily injury to another individual;
  • Makes use of or shows a deadly weapon;
  • Causes bodily injury to another individual or threatens imminent bodily injury or death to another individual or puts another individual in fear of imminent bodily injury or death if the other individual is:
    • 65 years of age or older;
    • Disabled.

Aggravated robbery in Texas is a first-degree felony. The term disabled individual means that the individual has a mental, physical, or developmental disability and they are substantially unable to protect themselves from harm.

If a perpetrator used a toy gun to commit a robbery, the offense would be charged as a robbery instead of an aggravated robbery. The commission of an aggravated robbery that is perpetrated by means of a deadly weapon requires that the defendant used a real firearm.

What Is the Punishment for Robbery in Texas?

In Texas, robbery is classified as a second-degree felony. A defendant who is convicted of robbery may face:

  • 10 years probation;
  • A term of imprisonment of two to 20 years in state prison;
  • Criminal fines of up to $10,000.

If a defendant is convicted of aggravated robbery in Texas, a first-degree felony, they may face:

  • Up to 10 years on probation;
  • A term of imprisonment of from 5 to 99 years;
  • Payment of a fine of up to $10,000.

An individual might not even have a criminal record. However, they may still be sentenced to up to 99 years in state prison if they are convicted of aggravated robbery because it is a first-degree felony.

Texas laws provide that a court cannot sentence a defendant to probation if they have been convicted of aggravated robbery. However, it may be a defendant’s first conviction for a felony criminal offense, and they may meet other statutory requirements. If this is the case, a jury may assess probation as the punishment for a conviction of aggravated robbery in certain cases.

A charge of aggravated robbery is considered to be risky to take to a jury trial. Probation may not be an option if a defendant is found guilty at trial and the court sentences them.

Are There Sentencing Guidelines in Texas?

In a federal criminal case, a federal judge has sentencing guidelines that guide them when determining criminal punishment. In the State of Texas, however, there are no sentencing guidelines for criminal cases.

This means that a judge or a jury may consider a wide range of factors when deciding on a defendant’s punishment. Currently, an aggravated robbery is commonly caught on video, for example, by a convenience store video surveillance system.

This can make fighting the charge and attempting to avoid a guilty plea at a trial challenging, if not impossible. One strategy a defendant may use is to get their charges reduced to robbery.

If that is not an option, a defendant may want to focus on presenting their best case for a reduced sentence or something other than the maximum possible punishment. During a Texas criminal sentencing hearing, the court or jury may consider everything about the crime’s circumstances as well as the defendant’s life and character.

For example, the court or jury may consider:

  • A defendant’s good character and good acts;
  • A defendant’s bad character and prior bad acts;
  • Circumstances that may mitigate a defendant’s guilt or make the defendant appear less morally bad than their guilt might suggest they are;
    • For example, a defendant could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offense. In this case, they may be able to argue that the crime is something they would not normally have done, but the alcohol or drugs impaired their judgment.

A defendant may present evidence of their good character, for example, a history of caring for elderly relatives or children. A defendant’s history of good attendance or performance in school, at work, or in some community work may be helpful.

The prosecution may present evidence that supports the sentence it is recommending. If the prosecution is seeking a harsher sentence, such as a long term of imprisonment, it will present facts that make the crime look more serious rather than less so.

Additionally, the prosecution may be able to present evidence of the defendant’s criminal history if the defendant has one. In Texas, the prosecution may be able to present evidence of a defendant’s wrongdoings, even if they did not result in a criminal conviction.

Both the prosecution and defense may call witnesses to testify at a sentencing hearing. If an individual has any questions regarding sentencing in Texas, they should consult with a local Texas attorney.

What Is the Crime of Home Invasion in Texas?

If an aggravated robbery or robbery occurs in an individual’s home, it may be considered a home invasion. In many cases, the perpetrator will be charged with robbery or aggravated robbery in addition to the crime of burglary of a habitation.

What Are the Defenses to Robbery?

Common robbery defenses include:

  • True owner defense: The perpetrator believed they were the true owner of the stolen property;
  • Duress: The defendant was forced to commit robbery because another individual threatened them with death or serious physical harm if they did not;
  • Lack of evidence: The prosecutor is not able to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and
  • Alibi defense: If a witness who does not know the defendant identified them in a line-up, the witness’s identification may be challenged;
    • The defendant may be able to argue that under the circumstances, the witness could not have seen the defendant, and the defendant was far away from the crime scene at the time it was committed.

Do I Need the Help of a Lawyer for My Robbery Charge?

If you are facing robbery, aggravated robbery, or additional charges, you should consult with an experienced Texas criminal attorney to fight the charges against you. The punishment for a robbery or aggravated robbery conviction in Texas may be severe.

Your attorney can analyze your case, identify available defenses, determine how best to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and present your best case at your sentencing hearing. It is important to ensure that your rights are protected when you are facing criminal charges.

Save Time and Money - Speak With a Lawyer Right Away

  • Buy one 30-minute consultation call or subscribe for unlimited calls
  • Subscription includes access to unlimited consultation calls at a reduced price
  • Receive quick expert feedback or review your DIY legal documents
  • Have peace of mind without a long wait or industry standard retainer
  • Get the right guidance - Schedule a call with a lawyer today!

16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer