Any criminal charge in Texas is worthy of stress as Texas is one of the strictest states in terms of crime and punishment. If you are charged with burglary or a similar offense in Texas, you are facing severe penalties and lifelong consequences.
A burglary charge is not the same as a burglary conviction. This means you still have options. Only a small percentage of burglary charges actually end in conviction. Some end in the charges being dismissed, some in an acquittal, and most end with a plea agreement.
The right course of action for your particular case will be determined by the facts of your case and the decisions made by you and your defense lawyer.
Texas Burglary Laws and Penalties
Burglary is a theft charge. But it is penalized more severely than a typical theft charge because it also contains elements of trespassing. You are somewhere that you have no right to be, attempting to do something illegal. In a sense, it’s two crimes in one.
According to Texas law, burglary is defined as doing one of the following without the consent of the property owner:
- Entering a habitation, a building, or any part of a building not open to the public with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault,
- Remaining concealed in a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault, or
- Entering a building or habitation and committing or attempting to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
If you are convicted of this state jail felony, you could be sentenced to up to 2 years in a state jail and fined up to $10,000. But, if the property on which the crime was committed was a habitation (dwelling), you face second degree felony charges and up to 20 years in prison.
Another common Texas burglary offense is called burglary of a vehicle. This is when you break into or enter a car without the owner’s permission, with the intent to commit a felony or a theft. Generally this is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential 1 year in jail. However, if you have two or more similar convictions on your record, you can be charged with a state jail felony and face 2 years in a state jail.
Serious charges like these can wreak serious havoc on your life. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation with a local defense attorney who may be able to help.