Theft and robbery charges can be applied to a wide range of actions, including everything from the theft of physical property to money to a person's identity. In an effort to deter such actions from occurring in the future, law enforcement officials are often extremely aggressive in the way they treat and prosecute those accused of theft or robbery offenses. Unfortunately, this often results in false accusations, infringements on the rights and freedoms of those accused of such crimes, and unfair punishments for those convicted.
Whether being charged for the first time or as a repeat offender, charges of theft and robbery can have serious short-term and long-term consequences for you and your loved ones. If convicted of a theft or robbery crime, your future can be tarnished, and people may hesitate to trust you again. Conviction of a theft or robbery crime can destroy your future ability to gain meaningful employment, and it may even impact some of your fundamental rights. However, you can help yourself by getting an experienced attorney to represent you.
Fortunately, with the help of an experienced attorney, individuals accused of theft or robbery charges may be able to have their charges dismissed entirely or in reduced in severity. Attorney Watkins knows how frightening it can be for Texas residents to face such charges, but want anyone in this situation to know that they have legal protections under the law.
Attorney Watkins is a highly experienced attorney who is highly regarded by his clients, and who is esteemed by his peers.
Theft and Robbery Charges We Defend
Attorney Watkins has considerable experience with theft and robbery cases, both as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor. With his experience as the first African American Elected District Attorney in Texas , he has unique insight into how these cases are prosecuted and is ready to put this information to use defending individuals facing charges such as:
Being convicted of any of the above charges can have life-altering effects, but fortunately, if you are facing any of these, or other theft / robbery charges, you do not have to fight them on your own. Do not try and negotiate or bargain with prosecutors or police officers without knowing your rights. Call us today at (844-427-2449.
Details about Theft Crimes
While there are a variety of theft crimes under Texas law, the basis of theft law is the generally same. In Texas, under Texas Penal Code Annotated § 31, a theft occurs when:
A person unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property. An appropriation of property is unlawful if:
- it is without the owner's effective consent;
- the property is stolen, and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen, and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
Thefts can happen under a variety of circumstances and may be misdemeanors or felonies depending upon what is stolen and the stolen property's value. There are three classes of misdemeanor thefts in Texas:
- Misdemeanor C Theft: In this instance, the property or service stolen is valued at less than $50. A conviction for this crime does not carry a potential of jail time but is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Misdemeanor B Theft: In this instance, the property or service stolen is valued at more than $50 but less than $500, or is of a certain type of property, such as a driver's license. A conviction for this crime carries a potential of jail time of up to 180 days and is punishable by a fine of up to $2000.
- Misdemeanor A Theft: In this instance, the property or service stolen is valued at more than $500 but less than $1500. Conviction of this crime carries a potential of jail time of up to one year and is punishable by a fine of up to $4000.
In addition to misdemeanor thefts, there are also felony thefts. There are four classes of felony theft in Texas.
- State Jail Felony Theft: In this instance, the property or service stolen is valued at more than $1,500, but less than $20,000, or the type of property stolen was of a specific type, such as livestock valued under $20,000 or a firearm. If convicted, an offender can face imprisonment ranging from 180 days to 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Felony Theft of the Third Degree: In this instance, the property or value of services stolen is valued at least $20,000 but less than $100,000. Conviction of this offense can result in jail time ranging from 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Felony Theft of the Second Degree: In this instance, the property or value of services stolen is valued at least $100,000 but less than $200,000. Conviction of this offense can result in jail time ranging from 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Felony Theft of the First Degree: In this instance, the property or value of services stolen is at least $200,000 or more. Conviction of this offense can result in jail time ranging from 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Whether a misdemeanor or felony, if convicted of theft, an offender can be subject to serious penalties. These penalties may be even worse if the offender has been previously convicted of breaking the law.
Details about Robbery Crimes
Under Texas law, there are multiple robbery crimes, including robbery and aggravated robbery.
According to Texas Penal Code Annotated § 29 a person commits robbery if while they commit a theft 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 as described above is a felony of the second degree. In Texas, a felony of the second degree is punishable by jail time ranging from 2 to 20 years and a potential fine of up to $10,000.
Under Texas law, robbery can also be aggravated. According to Texas Penal Code Annotated § 29, a person commits aggravated robbery, if during the commission of a robbery they:
- cause serious bodily injury to another;
- use or exhibit a deadly weapon; or
- cause bodily injury to another person or threaten or place another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
- (A) 65 years of age or older; or
- (B) a disabled person.
For purposes of the aggravated robbery statute, “a ‘disabled person' means an individual with a mental, physical, or developmental disability who is substantially unable to protect himself from harm.” Aggravated robbery is a felony of the first degree, and is punishable by jail time ranging from 5 to 99 years and a potential fine of up to $10,000.00.
Being charged with a robbery crime is a serious offense, as it not only involves taking another person's property, but it also involves harm to another person. There are some defenses to robbery, and knowing the law can help protect you if you have been charged with one of these crimes.
Defending You Against Theft and Robbery Charges
A common defense to both theft and robbery is that the offender lacked knowledge or intent. Common defenses to robbery include lack of intent to cause serious bodily harm, or that the victim did not actually fear serious bodily harm during the commission of the theft. There are also other defenses that can be mounted in an effort to prove that the offender did not perpetrate the charged crime. It is best to have an attorney assist with a defense for a theft or robbery crime because the law can be confusing, and, if convicted, the punishments can be harsh.
Conviction of one of these serious offenses can tarnish the rest of your life. The law that apply to theft and robbery in Texas can be confusing, and dealing with police and prosecutors can be intimidating. Knowing how to navigate the legal process can make a huge difference. Call the dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys of Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at 844-427-2449 today.