Houston Theft Charges Defense Attorneys

What does robbery crimes cover?

A theft crime can range from robbing a store to embezzling millions of dollars from a business.

Texas Penal Code §31.03 establishes that a person is guilty of robbery if he illegally takes another person’s property to intentionally deprive him of that property.

When is it illegal in Texas to take someone else’s property?

  • Did not have the consent of the owner to take the property;
  • Possessed the property knowing it was stolen; or
  • Property was taken from law enforcement without authorization.

Types of robbery crimes in Texas?

  • Robbery – It is a type of theft, but with the additional elements of injury, threat, bodily harm or fear. It is a felony of the second degree.
  • Aggravated robbery – It is committed if, in the course of a robbery, the offender causes serious bodily harm to the victim; uses or exhibits a weapon; or causes harm or threatens to harm a person over 65 or disabled. It is a felony of the first degree.
  • Burglary – Entering into a building, or remaining concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, robbery, or assault. It is found in §30.02 of the Texas Penal Code. It is a felony of state jail if the building entered is not a room or a felony of the second or first degree if the building is a room.
  • Theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Robbery of services
  • Robbery under false pretense
  • Robbery of trade secrets
  • Extortion
  • Embezzlement
  • Cheating with a worthless check
  • Acquire property through threats
  • Possessing misappropriated property
  • Possessing stolen property
  • Car theft

What are the penalties for robbery crimes?

Robbery allegations can also have serious consequences, including costly fines and even imprisonment.

The penalties for robbery depend on the value of the stolen property. Texas determines the fair market value of the stolen property or the replacement costs to repair the property. If the court cannot discover the fair market value of the item, it will be considered more than $750, but less than $2,500.

Offense level

Fine

Prison time

Market value

Class C misdemeanor

$500

N / A

$100

Class B misdemeanor

$2,000

Up to 180 days

$100 or more, but less than $750

Class A misdemeanor

$4,000

Up to 12 months

$750 or more, but less than $2,500

State jail felony

$10,000

Up to 24 months

$2,500 or more, but less than $30,000

Third degree felony

$10,000

Up to 10 years

$30,000 or more, but less than $150,000

Second degree felony

$10,000

Up to 20 years

$150,000 or more, but less than $300,000

First degree felony

$10,000

Minimum of 5 years and maximum of lifetime

$300,000 or more

  • Class C Misdemeanor: (1) The stolen property is a personal identification certificate, driver’s license, or commercial driver’s license; or (2) The property was worth less than $100, but the person has a prior conviction for theft.
  • State Jail Felony: (1) The seized property costs less than $2,500, but the person has two prior burglary convictions on their record; (2) The stolen property is a firearm; (3) Property was taken from a human corpse or grave, including property found on a military tombstone; (4) The stolen property is less than 10 head of pig, sheep or goat or a combination under the value of $30,000; (5) The property taken is an official transportation envelope for an election or an official ballot for an election; (6) The stolen property is copper, aluminum, bronze wire valued at less than $20,000; or (7) The property consists of rods, water gate stems, or pipes valued at less than $20,000.
  • Third degree crime: (1) The goods taken in a single transaction are cattle, horses or exotic birds or cattle with a value less than $150,000; (2) The property taken in a single transaction is 10 or more pigs, sheep or goats with a value less than $150,000; (3) Stolen property is controlled substances from a commercial building or vehicle in which prescription drugs are stored. Stolen controlled substances must be worth less than $150,000.
  • Second degree felony: (1) The offender stole less than $30,000 from an automated teller machine (ATM).

Aggravating factors that can reclassify a offense to a higher grade?

Texas Penal Code §31.03(f) lists the following:

  • The person is a public servant and stole the property through his/hers status as a servant;
  • The person was party to a contractual relationship with the government and stole property under that contractual relationship;
  • The property was taken from a non-profit organization;
  • The property was stolen from an elderly person;
  • The person is a Medicare provider in a contractual relationship with the government and stole property under that contractual relationship;
  • The person used a shield or device of deactivation to steal the property; or
  • The person disabled or prevented a fire exit alarm or shoplifting detector from sounding.

What does it take to convict someone of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt?

  • During the course of a robbery;
  • The person intended to obtain or maintain control of the property; and
  • The person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person; or
  • The person knowingly or intentionally threatened another person with imminent bodily harm.

Civil penalties under Texas theft liability law?

Title 6, Chapter 134 of the Texas Code of Practice and Civil Remedies is known as the Texas Theft Liability Act (TTLA). The TTLA allows violators to be civilly liable for damages resulting from theft crimes.

Under the Texas Code of Civil Practice and Remedies §134.003, a person who commits a theft is liable for damages resulting from the theft, and a parent or other person has a duty of reasonable control and discipline of a / The child is responsible for the theft committed by the minor. The Texas Code of Civil Practices and Remedies §134.005 states that anyone who has suffered damage as a result of a theft can recover:

  • The amount of actual damages and additional damages of up to $1,000 of a suspected criminal who commits a robbery; or
  • The amount of actual damages and additional damages up to $5,000 from a person who has a reasonable duty to control and discipline a child.

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