The law in Texas has staunchly protected homeowners for centuries. Home invasions and burglaries are treated seriously in the Lone Star State.
Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry to a structure or remaining in any private or public structure with an intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside. This definition includes “home invasion” which refers to a burglary within a habitation. Under Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code, this is defined as any structure or vehicle that is adapted for overnight accommodation.
If there is no intent to commit an offense, you may be charged with the lesser offense of trespass, a Class B Misdemeanor.
Entering under the statute means:
1 Any part of your body entering the property. Reaching through a window can constitute burglary.
2 Any physical object connected with the body.
In burglary offenses, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt two elements of the crime, namely you:
If the prosecutor fails to prove both elements, you may be convicted of a lesser crime like criminal trespass but not burglary.
However, a defendant does not need to complete an element of the crime like the theft. Establishing intent is sufficient.
The sentence for a burglary conviction depends on the nature and circumstances of the crime.
If the burglary occurs in a building that’s not defined as a habitation like a school or an office, the offense is charged as a state jail felony.
Burglary of a habitation or a home invasion is a second-degree felony carrying a jail term of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If the defendant entered the home with the intent to commit a felony other than theft, the crime becomes a first-degree felony.
If you have been charged with burglary, you should contact an experienced Fort Worth burglary defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call us at (682) 204-4066.