Houston Theft Crime Lawyer by Your Side
In the state of Texas, burglary essentially means entering someone else’s property without permission with the intent to steal or commit another type of crime. A person can be charged with this theft crime even if he or she simply attempts to carry out such an action – even if the individual does not succeed. Different types of penalties are given for this felony offense, depending on what type of property was burglarized. Individuals who are accused of burglary offenses in the Houston area can turn to the law firm of Jim Medley Defense Lawyer for a legal defense they can rely on.
Jim Medley was a former Texas police officer and a former employee of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He is intimately familiar with the nuances of how arrests are made and charges are prosecuted. This experience provides a deeper understanding of how to strengthen the defense strategy of every client.
Burglary Definition and Penalties
According to Texas Penal Code §30.02, burglary is defined in two ways. These include:
- Entering a home or building that is not open to the public with the purpose of committing a felony, theft or assault
- Remaining hidden in a home or building with the purpose of committing a felony, theft or assault
When the burglary is committed in a Houston home, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Home burglary, however, can be elevated to a first-degree felony if it can be shown that the crime was committed with the intention of committing a felony offense other than felony theft. The penalties then go up to five to 99 years in prison or even life in prison, and a potential fine of up to $10,000.
When the offense is committed in a building other than a home, it is considered a state jail felony, which is punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Texas law also has legal code sections that address burglary of vehicles (§30.04) and burglary of coin-operated or coin collection machines (§30.03). Both of these offenses are considered class A misdemeanors, which can lead to jail terms lasting up to one year and/or fines amounting to up to $4,000. Burglary of vehicles, however, can lead to harsher penalties for defendants who have previous burglary convictions.
Defenses Against Burglary
To show that an offense was a burglary, prosecutors need to demonstrate that the offender entered a property without permission from the person with rightful control of the property. They also need to show that the individuals had an intention of stealing property, assaulting someone or carrying out a felony offense. When one or both of these factors cannot be proven, it may lead to the possibility of having the charges dismissed or reduced or receiving an acquittal. For example, a defendant might be able to show that he or she was actually given permission to enter a building or vehicle, or the individual might be able to prove that he or she entered a property, but did not have any criminal intentions.
Perhaps a surveillance camera was not clear and the defendant was mistaken for another person, or maybe there is just simply not enough evidence to convict the individual. Jim Medley is available to help you explore the various defense options that are best suited to your case. The firm’s experienced and professional staff can provide you with aggressive criminal defense for your case in the Houston area, and make sure that any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you are properly used to your advantage. Call Jim Medley today to set up a consultation with a true criminal lawyer!