Whether you are charged with robbery versus aggravated robbery depends on a number of factors, but the line between the two can be extremely thin. Sometimes, it is even open to interpretation. Despite the nuanced distinctions between the two charges, the difference in the consequences you will face if convicted, are vast.
Robbery refers to the crime of taking someone else's property directly away from him or her by using threats or force. In the State of Texas, two elements must be present for a robbery to have occurred, and they include:
- Committing a theft
- Knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, threatening the victim with bodily injury or death, or causing the victim to fear bodily injury or death.
In other words, a weapon does not have to be involved, and the victim does not actually need to be harmed for a robbery to have taken place. Simply using force or threatening force while committing theft rises to the level of robbery, which is a violent offense and a serious charge.
A robbery charge can be elevated to aggravated robbery if at least one of several factors applies, including:
- In the commission of the robbery, the defendant caused the victim to suffer bodily injury.
- In the commission of the robbery, the defendant used or displayed a deadly weapon.
- The victim in question was either disabled or over the age of 65.
In summation, you do not need to have harmed anyone to be charged with aggravated robbery. Simply displaying a weapon in the course of the robbery is enough to elicit an aggravated charge.
Related: Is It Robbery or Aggravated Robbery?
The Sentencing Discrepancy
Simple robbery in Texas is a second-degree felony that can get you from 2 to 10 years in prison. Robbery is obviously a serious charge that comes with a serious sentence. A robbery conviction, however, cannot compete with an aggravated robbery conviction. Aggravated robbery amounts to a first-degree felony, which is punishable with 5 to 99 years in prison.
A Vigorous Defense is Essential
The difference between being convicted of an aggravated robbery as opposed to being convicted of a robbery can mean the difference between spending a few years in prison and potentially spending the rest of your life in prison. Despite the vast sentencing discrepancy, the differences in the actual circumstances involved can be quite modest – often coming down to interpretation. If you are facing either robbery or aggravated robbery charges, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Killeen criminal defense lawyer on your side.
If You Are Facing Robbery Charges, Consult with a Skilled Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing robbery charges, you are facing serious potential consequences. Your future is far too important to leave to chance, and Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is here to help. Mr. Pritchard is committed to aggressively advocating for your rights and to fighting for the best possible resolution of your case. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact us or call us at (254) 220-4225 for more information today.