Tarrant County Burglary Lawyer
All burglary convictions in Tarrant County, Texas are classified as felonies, with possible penalties ranging from a minimum of six months in jail to life in prison. If you were accused of burglary in Tarrant County, Texas, it may be critically important that you begin to build your defense as soon as possible.
In order to do this effectively, your best first move may be to consult with an experienced Tarrant County burglary lawyer immediately. A theft defense attorney from could assess your specific case and work to ensure your rights are protected to the full extent of the law and could give a suitable outcome to your case.
How Tarrant County Defines Burglary
The state of Texas defines the offense of burglary as a person knowingly entering any portion of a habitation or building without the effective consent of the owner, with the intent to commit an act of theft, assault, or any other felony while inside the building. This offense is always classified as a felony, although there are three degrees of burglary enumerated under Texas Penal Code §30.02 that differ based on the severity of the alleged offense and an associated risk of danger imposed upon the occupants of the building in question.
If a burglary occurs in a building other than a residence or habitation, it is classified as a state jail felony punishable by anywhere from six months to two years in a state jail facility, as well as a fine up to $10,000. If the burglary was conducted within a habitation, it is classified as a second-degree felony and carries a penalty range of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If a burglary occurs within a habitation and any party to the offense entered with the intent to commit a felony other than felony theft, it is considered a first-degree felony with a penalty range of five years to life in prison with an indeterminate fine.
Five Necessary Elements to Prove Burglary
The state may prove every element of the offense of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. By the letter of the law, an act of burglary contains five distinct elements, each of which the state may prove was present in an alleged act of burglary.
These elements may include:
- Entry into a building or portion of a building
- Non-ownership of the building on the part of the defendant
- Lack of consent from the owner to enter the building
- Notice that entry to the building or portion of the building is forbidden
- Intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault therein
If the state fails to prove any of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then a defendant may not be convicted of burglary. They may be convicted only of the lesser offense of criminal trespass, a Class A misdemeanor with a potential penalty of one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Every case of burglary is fact-specific and most defenses against the offense of burglary depend on the unique circumstances of that case. A Tarrant County burglary lawyer could contest the weakest points of a prosecution’s case against a particular element of the offense.
Contacting a Tarrant County Burglary Attorney
If you have been accused of burglary, it is important to understand the severity of the charge itself no matter what the facts of your particular case. An experienced Tarrant County burglary lawyer could examine the evidence the state has against you in order to assess the best defenses applicable to your case. Call a seasoned attorney today to start exploring your options.