Defense Against Burglary of a Habitation and Other Burglary Offenses
People in Texas often associate burglary with robbery and theft crimes, but the offense is very different and it can be treated as a very serious felony, so it is crucial to know the right strategies to defend against the charges if you have been accused. It is essential to gather evidence to build a defense strategy as soon as possible while that evidence is most readily available.
The dedicated and knowledgeable defense attorneys at Barbieri Law Firm are ready to defend you from day one. We work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for the best outcome if you are facing charges of burglary of a habitation or another burglary offense.
Understanding Burglary in Texas
Burglary is a crime that usually involves breaking into something without permission with the intent to commit an illegal act. It is not necessary to actually complete any sort of theft or other action once the perimeter has been breached. It is the act of breaking in with wrongful intent that is crime.
While burglary is most often associated with homes, a burglary can be committed by breaking into a vehicle, a vending machine, or even a tent in a campground. Burglary charges not only have the potential to result in imprisonment but they can leave you with a criminal record that makes it very difficult to gain the trust of landlords, employers, and others in the future. But assistance from the right criminal defense lawyers can help you reduce the impact of any negative consequences.
Burglary of a Habitation
The most serious form of burglary is burglary of a habitation. Texas criminal law defines a habitation as a structure adapted for people to sleep in overnight. This includes not only houses and apartments but also adapted vehicles such as campers and even tents. One reason breaking into a living space is such a serious crime is that it is more likely to lead to a violent confrontation as people feel their safety is threatened.
Someone can commit burglary of a habitation by entering without permission or by remaining in the home space after entering legally and hiding. Burglary does not require someone to break a window or pick a lock. If someone enters or remains on the premises “without the effective consent of the owner” to “commit a felony, theft, or assault,” Section 30.02 of the Texas Penal Code specifies that they may be convicted of burglary.
Burglary of a habitation can be penalized as either a first and second degree felony depending on the crime that was intended or attempted. If the person unlawfully on the premises intended to or attempted to commit a theft, then the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fine. If the prosecution can prove that the person accused intended to commit a different felony, then burglary of a habitation is classified as a first-degree felony and the accused person could be sentenced to life in prison.
This is why it is so important to begin building the most effective defense strategy as quickly as possible. At Barbieri Law Firm, our team can work to demonstrate that there was no criminal intent or that the owner gave permission to enter the premises.
Burglary of a Building, Vehicle or Machine
When someone enters or remains in another type of building at a time when it is not open to the public and is proven to have the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault, then the offense is often referred to as burglary of a building. If the building is used to store controlled substances and the person accused of burglary is shown to have the intent to steal controlled substances, then this type of burglary is treated as a third-degree felony. A conviction could be penalized by a sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. For burglary of any other building, the crime is generally considered a state jail felony and the maximum sentence includes up to two years of imprisonment.
Burglary of a vehicle occurs when someone enters a vehicle without the owner’s consent with the intent to commit a theft or felony. For a first offense, burglary of a vehicle is treated as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. There is a minimum six month sentence if the person accused has a prior conviction, and the crime is treated as a jail felony if there are two or more prior convictions. The maximum sentence increases to two years and the fine can be as high as $10,000.
If someone breaks into a coin-operated machine with the intent to take property or gain the use of services, then they can be convicted of burglary of coin-operated or coin collection machines. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
Barbieri Law Firm Fights to Protect You Against Burglary Charges
With potential penalties so severe, you owe it to yourself to gain the best possible advantages in defense. The experienced team at Barbieri Law Firm knows the effective strategies to defend against all types of burglary charges. We will not rest until we have secured the best possible outcome for your future.
Have you been arrested for a burglary crime? Call Barbieri Law Firm today at 972-424-1902 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our Plano burglary attorneys.