State v. O.D.; Cause No. 1800***; 209th Criminal District Court; Harris County, Texas

Defense of Charge: Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
Case Result: No Bill

Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon in Texas

My client was charged with Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon. This is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by 5-99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This case resulted in a No Bill.

This case was unique and challenging because the incident was captured on surveillance video. He was accused of threatening a store owner with a deadly weapon to obtain property belonging to the store owner, but there was much more to the story.

A defendant charged with Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon can be filed as a first-degree felony- just as serious as murder. The criminal charging document reads as this- the defendant did then and there unlawfully, while in the course of committing theft of property owned by (the complainant), and with intent to obtain and maintain control of the property, intentionally and knowingly threaten and place (the complainant) in fear of imminent bodily injury and death, and Defendant did then, and there use and exhibit a deadly weapon, namely, a firearm.

My client was asked by his wife to purchase a few household items- a refrigerator, washing machine, etc. He arrived at the store, and the owner would only accept cash payment. My client did not have enough cash for the full payment. He left a portion of the payment and went to withdraw money from a local bank. On his way to the bank, his wife called him and changed her mind. When my client arrived at the store, he informed the owner that he no longer wanted to purchase the items. Unfortunately, the store owner told him “no refund” and that my client’s last payment was now his. My client was understandably frustrated and requested his money back. All my client wanted was his own property back that he had given to the store less than 30 minutes before.

Police interviewed the store owner, eyewitnesses, and my client. Everyone had very similar stories of what happened.

My client had a good job and several start-up businesses. He had everything to lose because of this first-degree felony. Rather than wait for this case to go to trial, we attacked this case at the grand jury level.

Grand Juries in Texas determine whether a case should be indicted – they are gatekeepers that determine whether “probable cause” exists that a specific crime was committed. Probable cause is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion and is defined as “where the facts and circumstances within your knowledge, and of which you have reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient unto themselves to warrant a person of reasonable caution to believe that an offense has been committed.”

My team drafted a grand jury packet that brought to light all of the legal issues present in this case. Specifically, how my client was only requesting his property back, and he did not want anything else. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney fight for you throughout the entire case, especially at the grand jury level.

Our packet consisted of legal research, character letters, videos, and anything I could think of to help fight for my client. Thankfully, after the grand jury deliberated on this case, they returned a No Bill.

After the grand jury returned the No Bill, my client hired me to file an expunction to clear his record. An expunction is an instrument used to destroy records and stop allegations from following people throughout their life. It is an essential tool in helping clear a defendant’s record after a case is dismissed, no billed, or the defendant is found not guilty.

I am very pleased to say that I got this first-degree felony no billed.

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