Burglary is a serious crime that often only involves entering a vehicle, a building, or someone’s residence with bad intent. “Entering” means simply intruding with any part of the body or with an object connected to the body. In other words, just because someone didn’t steal property after entering doesn’t mean that it isn’t a burglary. In Texas, burglary of a residence is more serious than burglary of a business, but both can result in multiple years in prison.
Three Types of Burglary
Burglary of a Habitation is usually a second-degree felony that carries a penalty of 2-20 years in prison. It has the same elements as Burglary of a Building except that instead of a building, the person enters a “habitation,” which is a residence or other structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons – that is, if someone is or can be sleeping there. Sometimes, this offense can be a first-degree felony, carrying a penalty of 5-99 years, or life, in prison, if anyone involved enters the habitation with intent to commit any felony other than theft, or actually commits or attempts to commit any felony other than theft.
Burglary of a Building is a state jail felony that carries a penalty of 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility. A person commits this offense if he doesn’t have the consent of the owner of the building, and he does one of three things: (1) he enters the building or any portion of it that isn’t open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault, (2) he remains concealed in the building, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault, or (3) he enters the building and actually commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or assault.
Burglary of a Vehicle (commonly known as “BMV”) is usually a Class-A misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in county jail. A second offense for BMV is still a Class-A misdemeanor, but has a minimum penalty of 6 months confinement in county jail. A third or more BMV offense (or a first offense if the vehicle is a railroad car) is a state jail felony that carries a penalty of 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility. A person commits BMV if he doesn’t have consent of the owner of the vehicle, and he breaks into or enters a vehicle or any part of a vehicle with intent to commit any felony or theft.
If you or a family member have been arrested or charged with any burglary offense, I can help you. Call me or email me directly from this page. Your initial consultation will be free of charge.