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Texas Robbery Laws

Given the popularity of firearm ownership in Texas it is a little bit of a surprise that anyone commits a robbery. Whether brave or stupid, some folks still try to take property that isn't their own. A robber's danger doesn't end when they've escaped their victim, though. Texas law enforcement comes down on criminals like a ton of bricks. The following chart provides an overview of the Texas robbery laws and includes information on the possible defenses and penalties.

Statute Texas Robbery Statute (Penal Code, Title 7, Chapter 29)
Elements of Robbery Offenses

Robbery and aggravated robbery (sometimes called "armed robbery") are violations of Texas state law. To convict a defendant of robbery, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while committing theft (taking another person's property with the intention of depriving them of it), the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another. Alternately, the prosecutor may prove that the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threatened the victim or caused the victim to fear bodily injury or death.

The crime of robbery can be elevated to that of aggravated robbery if in addition to the criteria for proving a case of robbery, the prosecutor can prove that the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon, and/or the victim who was threatened or placed in fear of bodily injury or death was an individual 65 years of age or older, or was disabled either physically, mentally or developmentally.

Example: If Bob walked up to Joe and pressed a finger into his back and said he had a gun and that Joe must give him his wallet, that would be a robbery. Joe was placed in fear that he would be physically hurt if he did not give up his wallet. However, if Bob really did use a gun or if Joe really did get hurt, Bob's crime would be elevated to aggravated (or "armed") robbery.

Defenses Against Robbery Charges
  • Lack of intent
  • Lack of knowledge
  • No bodily injury was caused
  • The victim did not fear bodily injury or death

See Robbery Defenses to learn more.

Penalties and Sentences

Robbery is charged as a second degree felony in Texas. This carries a penalty of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. If the crime is elevated to that of aggravated robbery, the charge will be first degree felony. This carries a more serious penalty of five to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.

See Robbery Penalties and Sentences for more information.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Facing Robbery Charges? A Skilled Texas Attorney Can Help

If you are charged with robbery in Texas you'll want to seek legal advice immediately. A conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life and result in huge fines and lengthy prison terms. Contact a local Texas criminal defense attorney today and learn how they can get a handle on your legal concerns.

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