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What is robbery?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

There is a range of different theft crimes under Texas law. Understanding the specific one you face is important to putting together an adequate defense strategy.

The Texas Constitution and Statutes explain robbery occurs when a theft act leads to bodily injury or a potential for bodily injury. In general, robbery constitutes a second-degree felony but can have aggravating factors that increase the crime.

Element of theft

Robbery requires an act of theft or an attempt at theft. It is a theft crime at heart. What makes it stand apart are the actions that occur during or in conjunction with the theft.

Elements of Physical harm and intent

Robbery does require physical harm to another person or the threat of harm that causes fear in another person. It is important to note the harm must be something you intentionally do as part of the crime. Accidentally harming someone without the intent to do so would not necessarily turn a theft into a robbery. This makes intent another important element.

Elements that increase the charge

Robbery will become aggravated robbery, which is a first-degree felony, in three situations. The first is if you use or have on your person a deadly weapon. The second is if you cause serious injuries to the other person. The third is dependent on the victim in the situation. If he or she is disabled or over the age of 65, then that increases your charge.

In most cases, robbery is a more severe crime with harsher penalties than a simple theft charge. Proving the crime does require showing certain elements exist.