Houston Robbery Attorney
Penalties for Robbery in Texas
Robbery is any instance of using or implying a threat or using force to take another person's property.
Robbery, like burglary, is a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison as well as potential fines of $10,000. If a weapon is used or if anyone is injured, the robbery becomes an "aggravated robbery" and is a first degree felony which can mean a maximum of a life sentence. The use of a deadly weapon and prior criminal history can expose someone to even harsher punishments.
Robbery cases are very difficult to defend successfully. The reason is that almost no one likes thieves and when the element of actual or the threat of violence is added to theft, it is less understandable. As the old saying goes, "there's lots of people that need killin', but not too many horses that need stealin'." Robbery suspects and defendants should sharply question anyone who tells someone accused of robbery that "it's no big deal" or "not to worry." It is a big deal and there are many reasons to worry.
The local District Attorneys' offices rarely offer or agree to probation for aggravated robbers. If they do, and do so quickly, one probably needs to take a very close look at the case to see what is wrong with it. If such an offer does come, it is after a long fight when the prospect of trial is less appetizing to the State of Texas, than a reasonable plea agreement.
The police and prosecution can be intimidating as they know how to build a strong case against you and they will seek maximum penalties. To them, it is low hanging fruit. Juries who convict people of aggravated robbery routinely give double digit time to aggravated robbers, even first offenders. More often, Defendants who are sentenced to probation receive it from the judge after pleading guilty to the Court, without an agreement with the prosecution, in hopes of getting deferred adjudication. Others may receive probation from a jury, after a conviction.
Texas is known across the country for its severe criminal penalties and, to no one's surprise, the punishments for robbery are among the most severe in the nation. This unpleasant reality can be very difficult for the accused and their families to understand as they see people accused of what they perceive to be equivalent or worse crimes granted lower bail and more lenient sentences.
Defending Robbery Cases
Robbery cases are tough, but they're not impossible. An experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney who knows the issues, when and how to fight can protect the accused's rights and even their freedom.
Common issues in robbery cases are eyewitness identification and whether incriminating statements from the accused are accurate and/or were obtained legally. There has been a great deal of literature and research in the past few years about the reliability of eyewitness identification - particularly unfairly suggestive methods used by law enforcement, and false confessions. In part, this has been the result of the increasing numbers of wrongful convictions uncovered by groups such as the Innocence Project. Tragically, these wrongs are often uncovered only after an innocent person has spent years in prison for a crime they did not commit.
Thankfully, the Texas Legislature recently passed a law to improve eyewitness identification of criminal suspects. These procedures, once implemented, should help reduce the number of wrongful arrests and convictions. Importantly, police are on notice that continuing to use older, less-reliable methods, will be a subject of controversy and cross-examination. Jurors tend not to understand why someone who is supposed to conduct a fair investigation would use an unfair technique.
If you have been accused of robbery, it is crucial that you have an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney by your side to aggressively defend your constitutional rights. At the Law Office of Q. Tate Williams PC, my firm understands the uncertainty you are facing and will be with you every step of the way to vigorously defending you and fighting to help you avoid the harshest penalties.
Robbery Lawyer in Houston, TX
The consequences of a robbery conviction not only threaten your immediate future but could also affect the rest of your life. A conviction and criminal record can limit future employment opportunities, credit applications and housing options. I have been defending clients since 1999 and by contacting my firm as soon as possible after your arrest I will immediately begin to methodically dissect the case against you to ensure that your rights were not violated in either your arrest or the investigation leading to your arrest. I have the ability to tactfully negotiate with the prosecution seeking reduced charges or a potential dismissal. I am also prepared to go to trial to assist you in achieving your goals. I will keep you fully aware of any developments in your case and make sure that you understand all of your legal options.
Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer from my energetic firm right away for an aggressive defense as well as the caring personal attention that you deserve.