How Sentencing Enhancements Can Substantially Augment Texas Felony Convictions

A Texas criminal trial involves more than the simple question of whether a defendant committed a crime. In many cases, the most important aspect of the trial is sentencing. Defendants can n be sentenced to extremely variable sentences based on a variety of factors applied in the Texas justice system. In considering a sentence, courts may consider a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility and remorse, or lack thereof. Additionally, courts will consider a defendant’s risk of recidivism and any danger the defendant may cause to society.

The sentences for some crimes can be enhanced based on a defendant’s criminal record, often leading to years, or even decades longer sentences for different defendants convicted of the same crime. A Texas appellate court recently affirmed the application of a sentencing enhancement for a man convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

According to the facts discussed in the recently-published appellate opinion, the defendant from the recently decided case was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery after he was caught by a neighbor breaking into the victim’s car. The neighbor confronted the defendant, and a fight ensued, with the defendant ultimately shooting the neighbor in the leg. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and took the case before a jury. The jury found that the defendant was guilty of the crime, however, the court also asked the jury to decide whether to apply an “enhancement paragraph” to his charges, which would increase the sentence.

During the sentencing stage of the prosecution, the prosecutors introduced substantial evidence linking the defendant to several previous crimes, both charged and uncharged. Furthermore, the state introduced evidence that the defendant was affiliated with a local gang. Based upon the evidence presented at sentencing, the jury applied the enhancement paragraph and the defendant was sentenced to 40 years in state prison. The defendant appealed the sentencing at the Texas Court of Appeals, where it was found to have been issued fairly and in accordance with the law. As a result of the appellate ruling, the defendant will be required to serve his full sentence.

Are You Facing Robbery Charges in Texas?

If you have been arrested or charged with a violent crime in Texas, your life may literally be on the line. Even in clear-cut cases of guilt or innocence, what happens at sentencing can mean the difference between probation and a prison sentence. The dedicated Texas criminal defense attorneys at Guest and Gray know how important sentencing factors can be, and we assist our clients in keeping potentially aggravating factors from being addressed by the judge or jury. With our help, you stand a fighting chance. Our experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys represent clients across the state for all felony and misdemeanor charges, including firearms offenses. If you are facing charges, contact us at and see if we can help.

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