5 to 99 Years or Life on Aggravated Robbery Charge

Aggravated Robbery Sentence

How much time can you get for aggravated robbery? Robbery is a Second Degree Felony, and Aggravated Robbery is a First Degree Felony. A robbery charge becomes “aggravated” for one of several reasons. Those include committing robbery while also:

  1. Causing serious bodily injury (SBI) to someone;
  2. Using (or showing) a deadly weapon;
  3. Causing bodily injury to someone 65 years old or older;
  4. Threating someone who is someone 65 years old or older with imminent bodily injury or death;
  5. Causing bodily injury to someone that is disabled;
  6. Threating someone who is someone that is disabled with imminent bodily injury or death.

If someone has no criminal history then an aggravated robbery sentence is from 5 years to 99 years or Life in prison (TDCJ). Aggravated Robbery sentencing decided by the jury can result in probation if the person on trial does not have a felony conviction. However, if someone is found guilty at trial, and a judge decides on the sentence then a person cannot get probation.

Aggravated Robbery Sentencing in Texas State Courts

Unlike the Federal sentencing system, there are not specific guidelines for sentencing. So, the jury or the judge has a huge range for deciding on the penalty in any case. Unfortunately, many aggravated robberies are caught on video (e.g. store surveillance). This makes fighting guilt-innocence at trial difficult, if not practically impossible. In those cases you need a Fort Worth criminal attorney that will put in the tremendous amount of effort required to get the best aggravated robbery sentence possible.

At sentencing the judge or jury can consider everything:

  • good character and acts;
  • bad character and acts;
  • mitigating circumstances.

The first two categories are pretty common sense. The government can present evidence of someone’s criminal history and other “bad acts” that have not resulted in a criminal conviction. Your criminal attorney can present evidence of good character and acts. This might include a history of taking care of dependents (children or elderly parents). It also includes work history, education history, and community involvement.

“Character Letters” cannot practically be used at aggravated robbery sentencing, because out-of-court statements (written or spoken) generally cannot be used in court. These statements are considered “hearsay” in most circumstances. So, your criminal attorney needs to actually interview witnesses and call them to testify at the sentencing phase of your aggravated robbery trial. This can be a lot of work, and an attorney cannot wait until the last minute to prepare your case. The third category of evidence is “mitigation,” and this is the most under-utilized and least understood.

Text in image of mitigation to provide meaning for sentencing in criminal cases.

Mitigation Evidence for Aggravated Robbery Sentencing

In sentencing the issue of mitigating factors may be the most important in aggravated robbery cases. Although, the current law in Texas does not require the judge to instruct the jury on the importance of mitigating factors, your criminal attorney needs to present that evidence and explain to the jurors why it is important. Some mitigating factors for aggravated robbery sentencing include:

  • Role in the Offense: Even though the Texas Law of Parties makes the defendant just as guilty as any actors, the defendant had a lesser role in the aggravated robbery. This is like arguing the defendant is an accomplice or accessory to the offense committed by other people.
  • Influence of Drugs or Alcohol: Intoxication is not a defense to a crime in Texas, but it may be a mitigating factor and lead to a lesser sentence for aggravated robbery. So, your criminal attorney may present evidence the defendant was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. Further, the attorney should present evidence that absent the intoxication the defendant is not the kind of person that would commit the crime. This is a dangerous mitigating factor, because at sentencing “excuses” may anger jurors. It may seem as though the defendant is shirking responsibly for the crime. So, it is important that an attorney present the evidence in a way that shows the jury that substance abuse is not an “excuse” instead it is a problem that has a solution (i.e. treatment).
  • Motive for Robbery: Evidence of a defendant’s mitigation for committing aggravated robbery may be important for sentencing. Once again, an attorney walks a fine line between mitigation and “excuse.” However, if someone is robbing a store because they perceive their family’s financial situation as hopeless then an attorney can explain to jurors that bad actions may be motivated by better intentions.
  • The list goes on, but the point is a criminal attorney needs to prepare a thorough mitigation case at trial for aggravated robbery sentencing. This cannot be done unless the lawyer investigates and puts tremendous effort into piecing the case together.

    Attorneys for Aggravated Robbery Sentencing

    No two cases are the same, but our firm has received outstanding verdicts for sentencing in aggravated robbery cases. In some cases (caught on video) we have convinced a jury to give probation or the minimum sentence (5 years). Regardless of how hopeless your case may seem, you do not want to be in a position where you receive a Life Sentence and you are left wondering if the attorney could have presented a better case. Getting the best possible aggravated robbery sentence may require the help of private investigators, psychologist, doctors, or other experts. We have a substantial network of the best expert help in Texas. Call us today, so we can get started on putting the best punishment case together for you or your loved one.

    Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys

    300 Throckmorton Street, # 500
    Fort Worth, TX 76102