What is the Law on Burglary in Texas and What are the Punishments for it?
Each state in the United States has its own laws when it comes to Burglary. Criminal trespass and burglary are two completely different crimes in Texas and burglary is graver among the two.
If a person got convicted for burglary, it means that he/she had entered someone else’s property without their consent and had committed or had the intent to commit theft, felony or assault. Burglary is not only applicable to properties but also on vehicles and coin machines.
What are the different actions included under burglary in Texas?
According to the Law on Burglary in Texas, there are different types of burglary and each of them is described below.
- Burglary in a Non-Habitation Building – According to Tx. Stat. & Code Ann. § 30.02(c), if an individual enters or stays inside a building unlawfully that is of public or private origin which is not a habitation and has the intent of committing theft, assault or felony, they a state jail felony can be charged on them. The penalties are usually added up if someone breaks into a rail car.
- Burglary of a Habitation – This crime is also known by the term home invasion. If an individual enters or stays inside an inhabited building unlawfully and has the intent to commit theft, felony or assault, then that person will be convicted for first-degree felony.
- Burglary of a Vehicle – If an individual is found to break in or remain in a car unlawfully and has the intent to commit another felony inside or theft or assault, then the crime will be categorized as a class A misdemeanor. Charges might be placed on the individual if he/she inserted an object like a hanger to get inside the vehicle. If the vehicle is recreational and used for overnight accommodations, then the charges can be changed to that of a burglary that took place in a habitation. The penalties will be issued accordingly.
- Burglary of a Coin Collection Machine – If an individual is found to break in a machine that is operated on coins without any permission from its owner then the accused person might face a charge of Class A misdemeanor.
What are the penalties associated with burglary in Texas?
The punishment that is given to a person convicted for burglary depends on the gravity of the charge placed. This is explained below.
- Class A misdemeanor – In Texas, anyone who is convicted for a Class A misdemeanor, will have to a fine of up to $4,000 and also face jail for up to one year.
- State Jail Felony – If someone commits burglary in a building that is uninhabited then it is considered under state jail felony. The penalties for this type of crime can get you into a state jail facility for a time period of six months to two years. You will also have to pay a fine up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony – If someone commits burglary in a building that is inhabited by people, then it is considered a second-degree felony. The penalties for this include punishment in state jail prison for 2-20 years along with a fine of up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony – If someone commits burglary in a building that is inhabited by people and commits another felony apart from the felony theft, then the crime is categorized as first-degree felony. The penalties include punishment in state prison for anywhere between five years to life imprisonment. The accused will also have to pay fines up to $10,000.
The penalties vary with the crime that took place and it is important to know all the categories. If you face any such charges, contact a reputed Texas criminal attorney to understand the gravity of the charges and how you can reduce them.