Many people fail to realize the severity of being arrested and charged with the crime of burglary in Texas. Burglary may be charged as a State Jail Felony if it is committed inside a building other than a habitation. However, if burglary is committed inside a habitation where a person lives or stays overnight, it is charged as a 2nd Degree Felony. While burglary is generally considered a theft crime, the act of burglary itself does not necessarily mean that a theft has occurred.
Burglary Definition, Texas
In Texas, a person commits burglary of a habitation if, without the consent of the owner, the person:
- enters a habitation or building not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault;
- remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
- enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
Burglary of a Vehicle Definition
In Texas, a person commits burglary of a vehicle if, without consent of the owner, the person breaks into or enters a vehicle or any part of a vehicle with intent to commit a felony or theft. Under the burglary of vehicles statute, enter means to intrude any part of your body or any physical object connected with your body. People often ask, is burglary of a vehicle a felony in Texas? Generally, burglary of a vehicle is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor, but a conviction may still result in jail time, stiff fines, restitution, and community supervision.
Defending Burglary Charges in Collin County, Texas
While facing burglary charges in Texas is a stressful experience, it is critical to remember that you do have legal rights, and the State must prove every single element of the burglary offense in order to convict you. If the police violated your rights at any point during your arrest or their investigation, you may be able to have the burglary charge against you dismissed.
Furthermore, there are several elements of burglary that the State may have a difficult time proving depending upon the specific facts of your case. For instance, even if you were arrested at the scene where the burglary is alleged to have occurred, the State may still face several challenges in convincing a jury that you “intended” to commit a felony, theft, or an assault. Often times the State will point to circumstantial evidence such as items found on you at the time of your arrest in an effort to prove your intent, and a skilled burglary defense lawyer can cast doubt on this type of evidence. Also, if you were arrested some place other than where the burglary is alleged to have been committed, it can be very difficult for the State to prove your identity and convince a jury that you are the person who actually committed the burglary that you have been charged with.