Austin Robbery & Burglary Attorney
Austin Burglary and Robbery Lawyer
Robbery and burglary are serious charges in Austin, Tx, but you don’t have to face the criminal justice system alone. At ATX Legal, our Austin criminal defense firm can guide you through the process and usually get a favorable outcome whether facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
If you are charged with a criminal offense, experienced criminal defense attorney Rob Chesnutt can protect your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment in the legal process. He has been handling criminal defense cases in Central Texas for over 9 years. Reach out to our law firm for a free consultation by filling out a contact form, or texting 512-677-5003.
Robbery and Burglary Charges In Travis County
Robbery and burglary are two of the most common types of criminal charges not just in Austin, Tx, but throughout the country. A criminal conviction for burglary or robbery in Texas can carry serious penalties, and without an experienced attorney, these charges can be difficult to defend against in court.
A typical robbery charge is punishable as a second-degree felony and could land you a 20-year prison sentence depending on the seriousness of the crime. A typical burglary conviction can range from a state jail felony to a first-degree felony, depending on the specifics of the case.
There can be other penalties as well, including suspension or revocation of professional licenses, custody issues, etc. Burglary or robbery charges are not to be taken lightly and it’s always recommended that you seek counsel from a skilled criminal defense attorney in Travis County.
Robbery is a very serious crime and is charged as a second-degree felony under Texas criminal law. It can be thought of as theft plus assault. If both of those elements are present at the same time, then the person can be charged with robbery.
In Texas, robbery is not merely considered a property crime, it is classified as a violent crime. This classification is due to the inherent potential for physical harm to the victim. When a theft involves threat, assault, or bodily injury to another person, it escalates from a simple theft to a robbery.
The severity of this crime is reflected in its classification as a second-degree felony, subject to severe penalties upon conviction. The maximum sentence for a second-degree felony robbery is severe. If convicted, individuals can face a prison term ranging from 2 to 20 years, alongside a fine of up to $10,000.
Moreover, a conviction can result in a long-lasting criminal record, impacting future employment prospects, housing applications, and even personal relationships. Therefore, it is crucial to enlist the expertise of an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights.
Aggravated Robbery in Texas
Aggravated robbery charges are a more serious form of robbery in Texas criminal law, and it’s considered a first-degree felony. This offense carries even more severe penalties, including a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years and hefty fines that can reach up to $10,000.
Ways Robbery can be Enhanced to Aggravated Robbery
There are specific circumstances under which a robbery charge may be enhanced to an aggravated robbery under Texas criminal law. These include:
Use or Exhibition of a Deadly Weapon: If during the commission of the robbery, the person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon, the crime can be enhanced to aggravated robbery.
Bodily Injury: If the person causes serious bodily injury to another during the robbery, the crime is enhanced to aggravated robbery.
Victim’s Age or Disability: If the victim of the robbery is either aged 65 years or older, or is disabled, the crime is automatically classified as an aggravated robbery.
Given the higher stakes and potential for harsher penalties with a criminal conviction, it becomes even more vital to hire a skilled Austin criminal defense lawyer to handle your defense and to navigate the complexities of these charges.
Burglary, under Texas criminal law, is defined as entering a habitation, or a building (not then open to the public) with intent to commit felony, theft, or an assault. This also includes remaining concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in the building or habitation.
Burglary is typically classified as a state jail felony, but can escalate to a first or second degree burglary. Under Texas criminal law, felony offenses are enhanced to second degree burglary if the offense was committed in a habitation or if any party to the offense was harmed or attempted to be harmed. Convictions come with potential penalties of imprisonment, substantial fines, and restitution to the victim.
Given the severity of these consequences, anyone facing a burglary charge should immediately seek to consult with experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers. They can provide strategic defense, protecting your rights and working to mitigate potential penalties.
Burglary of Habitation
A burglary committed in a habitation is the most serious of all types of burglary. Under Texas criminal law, a habitation includes houses, apartments, trailers, boats (used as dwellings), and buildings attached to those places (such as garages) but does not include any structure that at the time was open to the public.
Burglary of a habitation in Texas leads to particularly severe consequences, often resulting in a second-degree burglary conviction that carries potential punishments of up to 20 years in prison, substantial fines up to $10,000, and restitution to the victim, emphasizing the importance of securing a proficient criminal defense attorney for your defense.
Burglary of a Building
Burglary of a Building is another serious crime under Texas criminal law. As per the Texas Penal Code § 30.02, this encompasses entering a building that is not open to the public, without the owner’s consent, with the intention to commit a felony, theft, or assault. It also includes remaining hidden within the building with the same illicit intentions.
Under Texas criminal law, This does not mean that the felony or theft has to occur; the intention itself is enough for the act to be classified as burglary. Penalties for burglary of a building can range from a state jail felony to a second degree burglary, depending on the circumstances around the crime. A skilled Austin burglary lawyer is essential to navigate your criminal case, protect your rights, and develop a strong defense strategy.
Burglary of a Vehicle (30.04)
Burglary of a Vehicle under Texas law is a very specific crime. This involves breaking into or entering a vehicle without the owner’s consent, with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault. Unlike burglary of a building or habitation, this crime is directly related to vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, or any other motorized means of transport. Unfortunately, burglary of a vehicle is often associated with drug crimes.
Penalties for burglary of a vehicle can range from a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense to a state jail felony for repeat offenders. The penalties can be severe and damaging, leading to imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record, which can negatively impact future life prospects. Engaging an experienced Austin Tx criminal defense attorney is critical when faced with such serious charges. Your rights and freedom are at stake, so don’t delay in securing competent legal counsel.
Defenses To Robbery and Burglary Charges
In the face of burglary or robbery charges, a robust and well-articulated defense is crucial. There are several potential strategies an experienced criminal defense attorney might employ to defend your case.
Lack of Intent, for instance, can be argued if it can be proven that the accused had no intention to commit a crime when entering the property or vehicle. Another potential defense is Mistaken Identity. In many cases, eyewitness testimony from a police officer or other witness can be unreliable, and if your attorney can cast doubt on the identification process or the reliability of the witness, it could result in a dismissal of charges. Duress or Coercion may be argued if the accused was forced or threatened by someone else to commit the burglary or robbery.
Lastly, Claim of Right may be applicable if the accused believed in good faith they had the right to the alleged stolen property. In some cases, the evidence (or lack thereof) is so convincing that the right lawyer can have your charges dismissed at the plea bargain stage. Remember, each case is unique, and the criminal defense attorney should tailor the strategy according to the specific circumstances of the case.
Plea Bargaining in Travis County Burglary/Robbery Cases
In Travis County, plea bargaining plays a significant role for any criminal offense and can often lead to a favorable outcome. Plea bargaining is a process where the defendant (usually through their criminal defense lawyers) negotiates with the prosecution to reduce the charges or the potential sentence. This can result in a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or, in some cases, dismissal of charges. It’s a strategic move often employed when the evidence against the defendant is strong, and a conviction in the court system likely.
An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can guide you through the plea bargaining process for burglary or robbery charges, ensuring your rights are protected and you are getting the best possible deal. Probation or Deferred adjudication may be an option in some cases. Carefully consider all options, and consult with your criminal defense attorneys before making any decisions.
Plea deals must be approved by the court, and the judge will likely consider the nature of the crime, the defendant’s prior record, and the interests of the victim before accepting the plea agreement. In some circumstances where the criminal prosecution is weak, the best criminal defense lawyers can get your criminal cases dismissed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Burglary and Robbery Cases
Will I be able to bond out?
The ability to post bond with pending burglary or robbery charges depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the charges, your prior criminal record, and your ties to the community. A skilled criminal defense attorney can argue for your release on bond, emphasizing your reliability and the support you have in the community.
You have a few legal options when posting bond. In some cases, you can be released on a Personal Recognizance bond, but for other charges, especially those involving violence of any kind, the person charged will need to go through a bail bondsman or post a cash bond.
What kind of bond conditions will I have?
Bond conditions for felony charges vary depending on the specifics of the case. Common conditions for any felony degree burglary or robbery charges may include staying away from the victim or the location of the alleged crime, avoiding further legal trouble, and maintaining steady employment. An Austin burglary attorney or robbery attorney can provide more detailed information based on your individual circumstances.
How likely is it that I will receive jail time?
The likelihood of jail time is contingent on a multitude of elements, such as the severity of the offense, whether a weapon was involved, and your prior criminal record. However, with the assistance of a strong defense from a competent burglary lawyer or robbery lawyer, it’s possible to minimize the risk of jail time. In many cases, probation is a good legal option.
Is it possible for a felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor?
In some cases, a felony charge can indeed be reduced to a misdemeanor or even have the case dismissed through plea bargaining. This generally requires legal representation from a competent criminal defense lawyer who can negotiate effectively with the prosecution.
For example, a second degree burglary charge can sometimes be reduced to misdemeanor. Robbery charges can be reduced to a lesser felony. In rare circumstances, a skilled defense attorney can get the case dismissed pretrial. This all depends on the specifics of the case, including the evidence against you and the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime.
ATX Legal Law Office | Contact an Experienced Austin Attorney
Robbery and burglary charges can be complicated, with many elements that the prosecutor must prove. It is important to have an experienced Austin burglary lawyer to mount a strong defense to the criminal charges and put the prosecutor to task. Attorney Rob Chesnutt has been handling cases like these in Travis and surrounding counties for over 9 years. ATX Legal law offices have the experience to help with state and federal crimes.
For burglary or robbery defense in Austin or surrounding counties, contact our law office. You can reach the ATX Legal law firm by filling out a contact form or texting 512-677-5003 for a free consultation. Payment plans are available.