Theft, Robbery, and Burglary Defense Attorney in Lubbock

Theft, Robbery, and Burglary are offenses that generally (though not always) involve taking someone else's property without their consent. If you're dealing with criminal charges for any of these offenses in Lubbock County, you need a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you and present a strong defense on your behalf. Call me today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Theft

In Texas, you can be charged with the crime of theft if you unlawfully appropriate property with the intent to deprive the owner of property. “Appropriate” is basically just another way to say “take”.

In Texas, there are three different categories of theft:

  • Stealing or otherwise taking property without consent

  • Taking property with consent that is induced by deception or coercion

  • Receiving property that you know was stolen by someone else

The first category is what people generally think of as simple theft: taking property that does not belong to you. However, Texas has consolidated a range of offenses into the theft statute, so that tricking someone into giving you their property, which is generally referred to as fraud, and receiving stolen property are also considered theft charges.

Theft offenses can be charged as anything from a Class C misdemeanor to a first degree felony, depending on the value and nature of the property stolen, the identity of the victim, and other potentially aggravating factors.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Penal Code § 31.03 — Theft

Texas Penal Code § 31.01 — Definitions of “Deception”, “Effective Consent”, “Appropriate”, and “Property”

Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

Under Texas criminal law, you can be charged with robbery if, in the course of committing theft, you do either of the following:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person;  or

  • Intentionally or knowingly threaten or place another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.

The law specifies that “in the course of committing theft” actually means conduct that occurs:

  • In an attempt to commit theft;

  • During the commission of theft; or

  • In immediate flight after the attempt or commission of theft.

This means that you can be charged with robbery even if you don’t succeed in committing theft, or if you injure someone while you are fleeing after a successful or failed attempt to commit theft.

A theft crime can be filed as an Aggravated Robbery charge in any of the following circumstances:

  • You caused serious bodily injury to another person;

  • You used or exhibited a deadly weapon; or

  • The victim was older than 64 or disabled.

Texas law defines a “deadly weapon” as any of the following:

  • A firearm;

  • Anything designed or adapted to inflict death or serious bodily injury, anything;

  • Anything capable of causing death or serious bodily injury by its intended use; or

  • Anything capable of causing death or serious bodily injury because of the way it was used in the robbery.

Robbery is a second degree felony, and aggravated robbery is a first degree felony.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Penal Code § 29.02 — Robbery

Texas Penal Code § 29.03 — Aggravated Robbery

Texas Penal Code § 29.01 — Definition of “in the course of committing theft”

Texas Penal Code § 1.07(17) — Definition of “Deadly Weapon”

Burglary

Texas law recognizes three different types of burglary:

  • Entering a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault;

  • Remaining concealed in a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault;  or

  • Entering a building or habitation and committing or attempting to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault.

The definition of “habitation” includes buildings and vehicles where people can sleep overnight, and any structures attached to them, such as a garage, whereas “building” refers to both habitations and structures that are not adapted for overnight accommodation, such as a shop or factory.

Generally, burglary is a state jail felony if committed in a building other than a habitation However, you can be charged with a third degree felony for burglary of a non-habitation if you enter a commercial building in which a controlled substance is generally stored, such as a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, nursing facility, or warehouse, with intent to commit a theft of a controlled substance.

Burglary is typically a second degree felony if committed in a habitation, unless you entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft. In this case, burglary of a habitation is a first degree felony

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Penal Code § 30.02 — Burglary

Texas Penal Code § 30.04 — Burglary of Vehicles

Texas Penal Code § 30.01 — Definitions of “Habitation” and “Building”