Robbery and burglary are often criminal charges that are used interchangeably when discussing crimes against a person. In Texas, they are separate crimes. Robbery is the act of theft done with violence and/or the threat of violence. Theft is taking property owned by another without permission and the intention of keeping the items. However, burglary offense law houston tx are different.
What is Burglary in Houston?
Like robbery, burglary is a criminal theft charge. However, the charge is unique because it includes criminal trespassing. The person charged with burglary did not have the right to be on the property and/or remain on the property.
In Houston, burglary is defined as doing one of three things without the consent of the property owner. A person can be charged with burglary if they entered a place with the intent to commit a crime such as a felony, assault or theft. The “place” can be an apartment, house, building or building not open to the public.
Another way a person can be charged with burglary is by being on the property. This means they were hiding in a place or building with the intent to commit theft, a felony or an assault. For example, a person is accused on staying in an apartment building closet until the doors were locked to assault a resident. That would be burglary.
The third way to be charged with burglary is by entering a place such as a house or building and committing a crime. In other words, the person entered the property and actually committed a crime. The crime may be a felony, an assault or theft.
Penalties for a Burglary Conviction
A person convicted of burglary of a building or area not open to the public faces a state jail felony. If convicted, they may go to state jail for two years. Also, they may be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
However, if they are convicted of burglarizing a dwelling such as a house or apartment building, it’s prison time. In fact, it’s a second degree felony. This means a person faces about 20 years in prison.
Vehicle Burglary in Houston, Texas
Another type of burglary crime is burglary of a vehicle. This crime involves entering a vehicle without permission and attempt or actually commit a crime afterwards such as a theft, assault or felony. It is a class A misdemeanor. The person may spend about a year in jail. If they have more than two similar convictions, they face two years in state jail.
Fighting a Burglary Criminal Charge in Houston
A burglary charge is serious. The stakes are high with just the accusation of burglarizing a place. A person facing this charge may spend a lot of time behind bars, if convicted. That’s why it is important to contact a criminal attorney immediately to start fighting the criminal charge. An attorney will explain the type of defenses available and how to fight the charge in court.