Texas Robbery Laws
Overview of Texas Robbery Laws
Robbery and aggravated robbery (sometimes called "armed robbery") are violations of Texas state law. To convict a defendant of robbery, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while committing theft (taking another person's property with the intention of depriving them of it), the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another. Alternately, the prosecutor may prove that the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threatened the victim or caused the victim to fear bodily injury or death.
The crime of robbery can be elevated to that of aggravated robbery if in addition to the criteria for proving a case of robbery, the prosecutor can prove that the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon, and/or the victim who was threatened or placed in fear of bodily injury or death was an individual 65 years of age or older, or was disabled either physically, mentally or developmentally.
- Example: If Bob walked up to Joe and pressed a finger into his back and said he had a gun and that Joe must give him his wallet, that would be a robbery. Joe was placed in fear that he would be physically hurt if he did not give up his wallet. However, if Bob really did use a gun or if Joe really did get hurt, Bob's crime would be elevated to aggravated (or "armed") robbery.
Defenses to Robbery Charges
- Lack of intent
- Lack of knowledge
- No bodily injury was caused
- The victim did not fear bodily injury or death
Penalties and Sentences
Robbery is charged as a second degree felony in Texas. This carries a penalty of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. If the crime is elevated to that of aggravated robbery, the charge will be first degree felony. This carries a more serious penalty of five to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.
Texas Robbery Statute
Texas Robbery Statute
Penal Code, Title 7, Chapter 29
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.