Burglary of Habitation
Most individuals have a rough understanding of what burglary is, however definitions and classifications differ by state. The definition in Texas is broad, and the consequences are harsh. We are committed to assisting clients facing burglary charges in understanding their rights, legal alternatives, and best methods.
What is burglary in Texas?
In Texas Penal Code Section 30.02, burglary is defined as when someone, without the consent of the owner:
- Enters a habitation or building not then open to the public with the intent to commit a theft, felony, assault; or
- Remains concealed within a habitation with the intent to commit a theft, felony, assault; or
- Enters a building or habitation and either commits or attempts to commit a theft, felony, or assault.
It is critical to understand that the accused does not have to have fully entered the premises to be prosecuted. Invading any part of the body or any physical object connected to the body is included in the meaning of “enter.”
Burglary of habitation Texas laws
In Texas, burglary involves unlawful access into another’s building, whether or not it is a dwelling. When the entrance is into a dwelling – a structure or vehicle designed for nightly use – the subsequent crime is commonly referred to as a burglary of a habitation.
Though burglary of habitation is a form of burglary in Texas, it is a more serious crime than burglary without a habitation.
Other felony burglaries
Under the Texas Penal Code, there are two other, less serious burglary charges. Section 30.03, Burglary of Coin-Operated or Coin Collection Machines, makes it a crime to break or enter a coin-operated or another amusement machine in order to get property or services. Burglary of Vehicles, Section 30.04, makes it illegal to break into or enter any portion of a vehicle with the aim to conduct a criminal or theft.
Texas burglary charges
The penalty for burglary is determined by the sort of burglary committed. The charges can be classed as a state felony, a second-degree felony, or a first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances. Criminal attorneys understand the devastating consequences of a burglary conviction on your future and will carefully advocate for the best possible conclusion. When the circumstances permit, we will strive to prevent a conviction entirely. In other circumstances, we work to lower the charges to lessen their impact on your life.
Burglary charges are classified as follows:
- Location – building other than a habitation: State jail felony
- Location – a habitation: Second-degree felony
- Location – a habitation; if the perpetrator committed or intended to commit a felony crime other than felony theft: First-degree felony
Conviction of a second-degree felony entails a jail sentence of 2-20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted of a first-degree crime, the jail sentence might range from 5-99 years, with a fine of up to $10,000. The best method to reduce the likelihood of a long sentence is to consult with a TX criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, even before charges are officially filed.
Texas criminal trespass statutes
Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code defines criminal trespass. It is similar to burglary but does not need the conduct of a crime or the intent to commit one. A prosecution must prove the following criteria to establish criminal trespass:
The individual entered or remained on another’s property (including a building, residential land, agricultural land, an RV park, airplane, or another vehicle) without effective consent; and He or she was given notice that entry was prohibited or was given the notice to leave but did not.
In contrast to burglary offenses, criminal trespass demands the intrusion of the complete body. Notice that access is prohibited and involves both written and spoken communication, but it can also include fencing, a sign, or visible purple-painted markers that conform with the statute’s requirements.
Criminal trespass penalties
Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor, however, the severity varies according to the circumstances. It is a Class B misdemeanor if there are no aggravating elements. It may instead be categorized as a Class C or Class A misdemeanor if done on specific types of property or while carrying a firearm. Penalties can so range from a $500 fine to up to a year in jail plus a $4,000 fine.
There are numerous defenses to a criminal trespass allegation, thus it is critical to consult with a Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Consult with a Texas burglary attorney about your case.
Texas is regarded throughout the country for taking a harsh stance on crime. Those accused of burglary, criminal trespass, or similar property crime in Plano require the assistance of an experienced attorney. Take an active role in your defense by contacting a Texas theft lawyer today.