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Burglary in Texas
In Texas, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry or remaining in any home or building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside. Home invasion is included in this definition and refers specifically to a burglary that occurs in a home (Included also are vehicles adapted to overnight habitation). Finding a skilled burglary attorney to defend your rights and aggressively fight the prosecution is essential for your freedom.
Elements of Burglary in Texas
When you discuss the ‘elements of burglary’ with your burglary attorney, the ‘elements’ refer to the unlawful entry and intent to commit
The penalties for burglary in Texas
Depending upon the type of offense that was committed, the penalties are applied as follows:
If the burglary offense is perpetrated in a building which is not a habitation, such as a store or other business, the crime is charged with a state jail felony. Possible penalties include:
- A $10,000 fine
- A maximum sentence of up to 180 days in jail
If the building in which the burglary is committed is a habitation, the offense is charged as a second-degree felony. Possible penalties include:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 20 years in state prison
If the building that was burglarized is a habitation and the purpose of entering the home was to commit a felony other than theft – such as rape or murder – the crime will be charged as a felony in the first degree. Possible penalties include:
- A maximum punishment of up to 99 years or life in prison.
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TITLE 7. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
CHAPTER 30. BURGLARY AND CRIMINAL TRESPASS
Sec. 30.02. BURGLARY.
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
(1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
(2) remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
(3) enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
(b) For purposes of this section, “enter” means to intrude:
(1) any part of the body; or
(2) any physical object connected with the body.
(c) Except as provided in Subsection (c-1) or (d), an offense under this section is a:
(1) state jail felony if committed in a building other than a habitation; or
(2) felony of the second degree if committed in a habitation.
(c-1) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if:
(1) the premises are a commercial building in which a controlled substance is generally stored, including a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, nursing facility, or warehouse; and
(2) the person entered or remained concealed in that building with intent to commit a theft of a controlled substance.
(d) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if:
(1) the premises are a habitation; and
(2) any party to the offense entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft.
Burglary of a Vehicle in Texas
A person can be charged with burglary of a vehicle if they break into or enter a vehicle with the intent to commit theft or a felony, such as stealing the car itself. Burglary of a vehicle also includes breaking and entering any part of the vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft, such as breaking into the trunk to steal its contents.
Burglary of a Vehicle is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for such a crime may consist of:
- Not more than one year in county jail
- $4,000 fine
- Both a fine and jail time
However, in certain situations, this misdemeanor charge can increase to a felony.