Conroe Burglary Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with the crime of burglary, it is vital for your case that you retain the legal services of an experienced defense attorney who understands your charges and the basis of a strong defense.
In Texas, the crime of burglary is a serious offense and can carry severe ramifications for your future.
What Is Burglary?
According to Texas PC §30, burglary is an umbrella term that covers various kinds of theft, including:
- Unlawfully breaking into a residence or commercial space without consent from the owner with the intention of committing theft, assault, or a felony
- Hiding within a home or commercial space with the purpose of committing theft, assault, or a felony
- Committing, or attempting to commit, a robbery, assault, or a felony within a residence or commercial space
According to Texas state law, entering involves any part of the body or an object attached to the body. Generally, this crime is viewed as a state jail felony unless the place is a residence, which escalates the crime to a second-degree felony.
Being charged with a state felony could land you two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Being charged with a second-degree felony could result in up to 20 years in prison. It is absolutely critical that you retain a criminal defense attorney that you trust.
Burglary in Conroe
According to the State of Texas, there are different types of burglary, including:
- Illegal entry or presence in a non-residential building (meaning no one sleeps or lives there) with the intent to commit theft or assault
- Unlawful entry into a rail car with the intent to commit theft or assault
- Illegal burglary of a habitation, otherwise known as a home invasion, with the intent to commit theft or assault
- Unlawful burglary of a motor vehicle
- Burglary of a vending machine to steal money
There are two conditions to burglary, the first being unlawful entry. After all, you can’t charge someone with burglary if they had permission to be on a property, though they can be accused of theft if they steal something.
Texas Penal Code states that hiding within a property to commit a crime is felony-level burglary. For example, illegally entering a home and hiding in a bathroom to steal something is much more severe than walking through the door and grabbing an item before fleeing.
The second condition involves the intention to commit a theft, assault, or felony within a habitation. This is why a person can be charged with a felony even if nothing was stolen from the property. They can also be charged with burglary if their goal was to assault or physically harm the resident, even if the crime was not committed.
Furthermore, one can be charged with burglary if they are asked to leave by the owner and refuse to do so. For example, an evicted tenant who refuses to move can be guilty of criminal trespass unless the landlord or another resident has been attacked.
Penalties for a State Jail Felony Burglary Charge
- Up to $10,000 fine
- Mandatory minimum six months to two years in a state jail facility
- Maximum of five years probation if eligible
Penalties for a Second Degree Felony Burglary Charge
- Up to $10,000 fine
- Mandatory minimum two years to twenty years in a state jail facility
- Maximum of ten years probation if eligible
Burglary Charge Defenses
If you have been found within a residence or building that you were not invited to or did not have consent from the landowner or occupier of the building, then prosecutors still need to prove that you intended to commit a crime. This must be more than an assumption or speculation. This must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
At The Napier Law Firm, we will work diligently to get your burglary charges reduced to criminal trespassing depending on the evidence available on your particular case. Being within a building illegally is enough to constitute trespass; it is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a much more lenient sentence than burglary.
Criminal trespass is similar to burglary because it involves entering someone’s home or private land without their consent. What differentiates the two is that criminal trespass does not include the intention to commit theft.
Criminal trespass is a class B misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Call Your Criminal Defense Attorney in Conroe Today
Burglary charges in Conroe can have significant penalties along with severe impacts on your future, but prosecutors may not have enough evidence to make those charges stick.
The professional lawyer at The Napier Law Firm will force the prosecution to substantiate every point of their case and will fight so you don’t get charged for a crime.
Being convicted of burglary could result in lengthy jail or prison stays, costly fines, community service, probation, restitution, and a mark on your criminal record. Additionally, you could lose your job, be denied loans and financial assistance, and even have issues finding future employment.