Burglary in Texas is defined in section 30.02 of the Penal Code as occurring whenever a person unlawfully enters a building with the intent to commit theft or another felony. It can also occur when breaking and entering is accompanied by intent to deprive others of property. This is true even if no goods are actually taken. A few instances that could be considered burglary under Texas law include:

  • Breaking into a coin-operated machine
  • Damaging an automatic teller machine in order to obtain cash
  • Forcing entry into a motor vehicle, rail car, public transportation vehicle or semi tractor-trailer

Penalties Associated with Burglary

The crime of burglary is considered a crime against property and is normally a first-degree felony. People who have been convicted of a burglary face repercussions from society in addition to those handed down in a court of law. Some of the after-effects of a burglary conviction could include:

  • Inability to find employment with businesses that handle cash
  • Inability to obtain a military security clearance
  • Refusal by landlords to rent certain properties
  • Loss of trust among friends and co-workers

Defending Burglary Charges

There are several defenses that a skilled burglary lawyer can use to obtain a favorable outcome in a case. Burglary can be a difficult crime to prosecute because these cases often rely heavily on eyewitness testimony. Since most burglaries occur at night, an eyewitness testimony can usually be challenged as to whether the defendant was actually seen. Another common defense is to prove a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant intended to commit a crime. If the defense lawyer can prove a doubt that there was criminal intent or establish a legitimate legal reason for the defendant being on the premises prior to the incident, there is a good chance for a dismissal or reduced charge.

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Houston Criminal Lawyer James Alston represents clients in the Houston area, including Pasadena, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Channelview, Conroe, Galveston, Angleton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Beaumont, Galveston County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Harris County and Jefferson County in Texas.