The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) claims that over 30,000 robberies took place in 2014. While many may be guilty of this crime, others are falsely accused and unfairly prosecuted. You may have been misidentified through eyewitness reports, or perhaps your intentions were misconstrued. In any case, being charged with a violent crime such as robbery can be a terrifying experience. It is always treated as a felony in Texas, which means you could have to pay massive fines and spend years in state prison.
When it comes to giving your case the best possible chance of success, you need a defense attorney who has intimate knowledge of the criminal code, one who understands the ins and outs of mounting a strong defense. Houston Robbery Attorney Ned Barnett has over 30 years of courtroom experience. He knows how to evaluate circumstances and cast your side of the story in a positive light.
To find out how you can avoid a criminal conviction, call (713) 222-6767 today.
In Texas, robbery can be thought of as an extension of theft. According to Section 29.02 of the Texas Criminal Code, this crime is defined as intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person while committing a theft. It also includes intentionally or knowingly making another person fear of imminent bodily injury or death while committing a theft. In order to convict you of this crime, the prosecution must prove that you were indeed committing theft, or that you had the intention to permanently deprive an individual of their property. Next, the prosecution must prove the bodily injury or you threatened the person of imminent bodily injury or death.
In many cases, the victim’s fear of being hurt or killed can be enough to bring robbery charges. Imagine, for example, that you decide to pay your close friend a visit. When you arrive at their house, you knock, but no one comes to the door. Realizing that the door is unlocked, you decide to let yourself in. You find your friend in the kitchen doing dishes. As a joke, you decide to grab their neck and say that you want all their valuables. In this case, you could easily be charged with robbery. Your friend may have genuinely believed that they were in danger, and they may also think that you were trying to steal something.
If you had put your finger on your friend’s back and pretended to have a gun in the scenario described above, the charges you receive could be elevated to aggravated robbery. This is because using or displaying a deadly weapon is perceived as posing a greater risk to victims. Section 29.03 of the Texas Criminal Code also notes that robbery can be enhanced by causing serious bodily injury, or by threatening or harming an individual who is disabled or over the age of 65.
What Happens if I am Found Guilty?
Robbery is a felony offense in Texas, regardless of the circumstances. However, charges may become more severe if it is believed that the offense was especially heinous. Standard robbery is a second-degree felony, whereas the aggravated form of this crime is charged as a first-degree felony; the difference in penalties is dramatic. Criminal consequences for robbery include, but are not limited to:
- Robbery (Second Degree Felony): A fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in state prison
- Robbery (First Degree Felony): A fine of up to $10,000 and between five and 99 years or life in state prison.
When you are convicted of a felony, your troubles do not end once you are released from prison. There are thousands of restrictions imposed on convicted felons in the state of Texas. According to the Texas State Law Library, school districts and charter schools must immediately fire an individual with a felony on their record. In addition, they may not consider applicants who have committed felonies. There are also restrictions for the military. If you have been convicted of a felony, you will not be allowed to hold sensitive positions at certain facilities.
If you are still being investigated by police, you may think that now is not the time to get help. However, the assistance of a lawyer during the early stages of your case can make a world of difference. For example, an attorney can provide you with advice during interrogations. Once police know that you have obtained a lawyer, you can request that all questioning be directed through them. Since anything you say during questioning can be used against you, it is important to exercise caution. Even casual conversation can end up as a piece of key evidence in your case.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can also help you develop an effective legal defense. A commonly used strategy in robbery cases involves proving that you had no intention of committing theft. Perhaps you mistook someone’s home for a friend’s residence, or maybe you wandered into a place of business on accident. It may also be possible to show that the supposed victim did not have any reason to fear bodily harm. Losing your temper or yelling does not necessarily justify a robbery accusation.
Contact a Houston Robbery Lawyer
If you are facing a robbery charge, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. At the Law Offices of Ned Barnett, we realize what you are up against and know how to help by creating the strongest possible defense. Let Houston robbery attorney Ned Barnett work to ensure that your rights are respected.
If you would like to discuss your case as part of a free consultation, call (713) 222-6767 now.