Defense Against Armed Robbery and Other Aggravated Robbery Charges
One of the criminal offenses lawmakers and prosecutors in Texas focus on most heavily is aggravated robbery. This crime is often referred to as armed robbery, but there are circumstances other than the use of a weapon that can cause an incident to be classified as aggravated robbery.
In their zeal to demonstrate that they are tough on crime, law enforcement officials often work hard to gain a conviction in aggravated robbery cases. If you have been accused of this offense, you need and deserve dedicated legal defense to protect your rights.
Barbieri Law Firm is committed in our fight to protect those accused of serious crimes, including aggravated robbery. We apply decades of experience to develop the best defense strategies to preserve your rights and achieve the best outcome for your future.
Understanding Robbery in Texas
Criminal offenses in Texas are defined by statutory terms rather than common law. The Texas Penal Code says that someone commits robbery when they threaten bodily harm or cause bodily harm during the commission of a theft. A theft is defined as taking someone else’s property without their consent and with the intent to deprive them of it.
So a robbery is a type of aggravated theft. The crime of robbery can itself be aggravated to a more serious offense when certain factors are present.
Before the court can convict an individual of any form of robbery, prosecutors must present evidence to demonstrate that every element of the crime has been satisfied. For instance, harm caused by an accused individual during the course of a theft must occur intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly for it to elevate the crime to a robbery. If your defense can prove that a person injured during the course of a theft was hurt by something that was out of your control, such as by a third party’s actions, then the element of intent may be negated.
Factors That Cause a Robbery to Be Treated as Aggravated Robbery
Section 29.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines the factors that will cause a robbery to be treated as an aggravated robbery with more severe penalties. Robbery is considered aggravated in three different situations:
- The person committing the robbery uses or shows a deadly weapon
- The person committing the robbery causes a serious bodily injury to another person
- The person injured or threatened is disabled or older (aged 65 or more)
Remember that no one necessarily needs to be injured in order for an incident to be treated as aggravated robbery. If there is a threat of harm and the display of a weapon, that can be enough for the offense. Under the definition in the Code and as applied in court, a deadly weapon includes not only guns, knives, and other devices made to inflict deadly injuries, but anything capable of causing death or serious injury.
Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony. That means that if you are convicted, you could face life in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
Defenses Against Aggravated Robbery
The best defense strategies will depend on the facts of the case. For that reason, it is vital to gather evidence to demonstrate those facts as early as possible. Footage from a surveillance camera might show what occurred, for instance, but that footage can be erased or recorded over unless an attorney takes legal action to collect and preserve it.
A defense strategy against aggravated robbery might include challenging the witnesses identification of the accused. If someone is facing a weapon, they may be so focused on the weapon that they notice few if any details about the person holding it. Or a witness might have mistaken in believing there was anything present that could have been used as a weapon. In some cases, police reports indicate that the person accused admitted guilt when a review of the circumstances show that the statement was taken out of context. Or the admission may be shown to have been coerced.
In addition to defending against the charges, an experienced defense attorney can also seek a reduction in potential penalties to decrease the impact on future opportunities. For instance, it may be possible to seek deferred adjudication.
Contact Barbieri Law Firm Now to Get the Protection You Need to Fight Charges of Aggravated Robbery
Aggravated robbery penalties are aimed at putting a stop to the actions of hardened criminals. In reality, however, those accused of aggravated robbery are often young and inexperienced individuals who let circumstances get out of hand.
Our experienced defense attorneys know the defense strategies that are best calculated to succeed in an aggravated robbery case. If you have been arrested for aggravated robbery, call Barbieri Law Firm today at 972-424-1902 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our Plano aggravated robbery attorneys. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and your future.