What is Burglary in Texas? – Criminal Attorney
You may be charged with several types of burglary in Texas. Generally, the crime of burglary is considered separate from other types of theft crimes. The reason for this is burglary involves the action of entering a building with the intention of stealing the property of another person.
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The Texas Penal Code states that the offense of burglary occurs if you have without consent entered a building or habitation that is not open to the general public, with the intention of committing a felony. Or, you attempt to conceal yourself in that building or habitation and intend to commit a felony.
Note that you may be charged with burglary if any body part or object that you are holding or is attached to you entered the building. For instance, you may be hit with a burglary charge if you have a flashlight and you poke it into a window of a home that is not open to the general public.
Burglary and Criminal Trespass Differences
Burglary and criminal trespass are related but different crimes in Texas. In a burglary crime, a person might break into a home with the intent to steal the stereo. After he breaks in, the alarm goes off and he flees. Even though the suspect did not take anything, stealing was the intent, so he could be charged with burglary.
On the other hand, to be convicted for criminal trespass, the prosecutor would only need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant entered or remained in the home without the consent of the owner, and that the defendant knew that permission to enter was not given.
Penalties for Burglary in Texas
You may be charged with a first degree or second degree felony, depending upon the type of building that you allegedly tried to enter.
If the offense occurred in a building that is not defined as a habitation, such as a store, this is a state jail felony. Potential penalties are a fine of up to $10,000, and up to 180 days in jail.
If the offense occurred in a habitation, the offense is charged as a second degree felony. Potential penalties are up to $10,000 in fines and as many as 20 years in state prison.
If the offense occurred in a habitation and the purpose of entering the property was to commit a felony such as murder or rape, this is a first degree felony. Potential penalties are up to 99 or years or life in prison.
(713) 224-4000 | Burglary Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with burglary, then you are facing some serious jail time and consequences. We offer free consultations. Call now.