Robbery is a very serious crime; it is considered a crime of violence. Texas takes offenses and violence against individuals very seriously.
A person commits robbery if, in the course of committing <theft> and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he or she:
- 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.
The property does not actually have to be obtained while committing the theft for a charge of robbery to arise. Also, the property can be abandoned during the course of the robbery and this would still suffice for a charge of robbery. The bodily injury can occur after the initial stages of the robbery, including the immediate flight (i.e., escaping and fleeing). Additionally, the complainant of the injury does not have to be the same individual the property was taken from.
The main inquiry into robbery is the violence and not whether or not property was actually obtained; this is why the assault side of robbery is considered more vital than the theft side of robbery. Lastly, if there is one theft and multiple victims placed in danger, only one charge of robbery will arise.
If an individual commits robbery, the punishment is a <2nd degree felony>.
If a charge of robbery is not based upon bodily injury, but instead a threat of imminent harm, a possible defense is based upon whether the harm is imminent or not. The threat has to be imminent; it cannot be conditioned to occur at some distant point in the future. The threat must also cause the complainant to be placed in the required state of fear. If the complainant is not actually put in fear to the required state, a robbery may not have occurred. The level of fear is usually determined if in reason and common experience the conduct would cause a complainant to part with his or her property.
The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 29.02 of the Texas Penal Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided by a licensed attorney.