Robbery is one of the most widespread crimes in Texas and around the country. An arrest for this offense can be confusing and scary. It’s important to understand the elements of the charge.
What is robbery?
Robbery is a theft offense that involves a violent act in order to take someone else’s property. However, it’s also possible for the crime to be committed simply with the threat of violence. Usually, robbery involves bodily injury to the victim, which makes it a serious theft offense that requires a solid criminal defense.
What are the elements of robbery?
If a person has been arrested for robbery, the prosecution would have to prove that the elements of the crime are in place. They include the following:
- The perpetrator took property that belonged to another person
- The perpetrator took that property directly from the person in their presence
- The perpetrator used violence or the threat of violence in order to take the property from its rightful owner
- The perpetrator had the intention to permanently deprive the person of the property they took
Robbery is often referred to as “larceny by force”, as it differs from larceny because it involves force and intimidation. If the victim is fearful enough that they hand over the property even if there is no actual force used, it still counts as robbery. For example, a man approaches a teenage boy from behind and grabs him by the back of his jacket. He tells the teen not to turn around and presses his finger into his back, mimicking a gun. He tells the teen to hand over his cell phone. The teen, terrified, thinks the man has a gun in his back and hands over his phone.
Robbery is an offense that requires a strong criminal defense. It is classified as a felony, which carries more severe penalties for a conviction. If the use of a weapon was involved in the commission of the crime, the charges could be increased to aggravated robbery.