While both robbery and burglary involve the theft of property, they are two very different crimes in the state of Texas. If you are facing charges for a theft and property crime, a criminal defense attorney can help you defend against the charges and advise you on what to do next.
Robbery, a second degree felony, and aggravated robbery, a first degree felony, both typically require an assault while committing theft. Under Texas Penal Code, Sec. 29.02, the prosecution can prove robbery by establishing that the alleged perpetrator:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly injured another person while committing theft; or
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threatened or placed another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death while committing theft; and
- Unlawfully took property from another person with the intent to deprive them of it permanently
The alleged perpetrator may be charged with aggravated robbery if:
- The victim was over the age of 65 and/or disabled.
- They caused the alleged victim to suffer serious bodily injury.
- They used or showed a deadly weapon during the robbery.
Burglary is different from robbery in that it requires the element of trespassing or breaking into a building or habitation (e.g., house, vehicle, etc.) without consent. Under Texas Penal Code Section 30.02, the prosecution can prove burglary by establishing that the alleged perpetrator:
- Unlawfully entered a building or habitation with the intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony; or
- Unlawfully entered a building or habitation and committed or attempted to commit theft, assault, or a felony; or
- Remained hidden in a building or habitation with the intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony.
Generally, burglary is classified as a first-, second-, or third-degree felony, or state jail felony, as follows:
- First-degree burglary: Involves a habitation and felony unrelated to theft (e.g., sexual assault).
- Second-degree burglary: Involves a habitation and a felony theft or assault
- Third-degree burglary: Involves entering a commercial building with the attempt to steal a controlled substance.
- State jail felony: Involves a building (not a habitation) and theft, assault, or felony.
Robbery and burglary are both serious crimes that can result in serious consequences. A criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and come up with a strategy to defend you against the charges you face.