Theft vs. robbery: the critical differences

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Texas law addresses theft and robbery very differently. Understanding the distinction is critical if you face criminal charges. The way the court considers a robbery and the penalties associated with the crime can irrevocably change your life.

According to the State of Texas, a person commits theft if he takes property with the intent to deprive the lawful owner of the property. Theft covers a variety of crimes, from stolen services to grand theft auto. However, the law considers the crime robbery if you knowingly threaten or cause bodily harm during the theft.

Penalties for theft

The punishment for theft depends on the value and type of stolen property. It typically includes fines and jail, although the judge may waive incarceration in some cases. If the value of the stolen property is less than $2,500, the charge is likely a misdemeanor. The precise value and your history determine the severity of the charge. Theft of property between $2,500 and $300,000 might result in felony charges, including jail and fines.

Penalties for robbery

The penalties for robbery greatly depend on the circumstances of the crime. The court might file simple robbery charges if the offense involved the display of a deadly weapon. If the crime resulted in bodily injury or the fear of harm or death to a senior citizen or disabled person, it becomes aggravated robbery. The court may levy fines up to $10,000 in either situation. While simple robbery may include a jail sentence of two to 20 years, aggravated robbery may result in a life sentence.

A felony conviction might not only include a lengthy jail term but a suspension of your civil liberties. It can affect where you live, the type of jobs you can hold and whether you qualify for a loan or mortgage. Understanding your options is vital to fighting the charges and protecting your rights.