Being charged with robbery in Texas is a serious matter. There are many factors in a Houston robbery case that can affect its outcome. Hiring an experienced robbery defense lawyer like Lisa Shapiro Strauss who understands these factors and how they can mean the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict as well as the difference between probation or jail time.
Robbery in Texas
Robbery is a theft that involves violence or the threat of violence. Under Texas state law (Sec. 29.02) a robbery occurs when a person is committing theft with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, and they:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
Robbery is considered to be a violent crime in Texas. It is classified as a second degree felony and carries a potential 20 year prison sentence with fines reaching $10,000.
Aggravated Robbery in Texas
Aggravated robbery is a much more serious than a robbery charge. According to Texas state law (Sec. 29.03), a person commits the offense of aggravated robbery when they commit a robbery (as defined in Section 29.02) and then:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another
- Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon
- Causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
- 65 years of age or older; or
- A disabled person.
- An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
- In this section, “disabled person” means an individual with a mental, physical, or developmental disability who is substantially unable to protect himself from harm.
Aggravated robbery is classified as a first degree felony, which carries up to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Factors That Could Result in a Not Guilty Verdict
There are many factors a Houston robbery case defense attorney will present to the court as proof of their clients’ innocence. These factors can include a lack of intent on the part of the defendant, the victim did not fear bodily injury or death, no bodily injury resulted from the crime or the defendant was exercising their constitutional rights.
Mitigating and Aggravating Circumstances – The Deciding Factors
If the defendant has been found guilty or pleaded “no contest” for the crime of robbery or aggravated robbery, the sentencing phase of the trial begins. During this time the judge will consider both the mitigating and aggravating factors – information or evidence presented to the court pertaining to the defendant and the circumstances surrounding the crime – to arrive at a decision.
Mitigating circumstances are the factors that weigh in a defendant’s favor. A skilled Houston aggravated robbery attorney will make sure the judge is aware of the mitigating circumstances pertaining to their client and the circumstances surrounding the crime in hopes of getting reduced charges or a lesser sentence for their clients. Mitigating circumstances include lack of a prior criminal record, the defendant played a minor role in the offense, remorse, mental or physical illness at the time of the crime.
Aggravating circumstances are just the opposite. These are factors the prosecution will present to the court to show that the defendant deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law. Aggravating factors can include prior convictions, a lack of remorse, the vulnerability of the victim, the severity of injuries inflicted on the victim, and committing the crime in front of a child.
Speak With A Lawyer Experienced In Houston Robbery Cases
Houston criminal defense lawyer Lisa Shapiro Strauss understands the critical role mitigating and aggravating circumstances can play in a robbery or aggravated robbery trial. Lisa has extensive experience in representing individuals charged with robbery, aggravated robbery and other criminal offenses in Texas and knows how to make the best out of a bad legal situation. She will accentuate the positive – the mitigating factors in your case – while countering the negative, aggravating factors in the case.
Whether you seek a lenient sentence in a plea agreement or have pleaded innocent and want to fight the charges at trial, you can depend on Lisa’s skills and expertise to come up with the best defense possible. If you are facing a theft, burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery case in Houston, contact Lisa Shapiro Strauss at (713) 449-9922 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss the circumstances in your case.