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Every US state has specific legal implications around burglary, whether it involves an attempt to burglary, or invading a home; and, Texas is no exception. The severity of punishment can depend on the nature of circumstances, and the crime reported.
If you live in Texas, you must know that entering or staying in a public or private property unlawfully and stealing, assaulting or committing a felony therein becomes a case of burglary. Whether someone occupies a structure or vehicle overnight with a group of people or alone can risk the charges of theft against him.
Burglary of a building/ habitation – The two elements and punishment
If you observe, you will realize that the definition of burglary includes two components –
1) Illegal entry, and
2) The motive of theft, assault, and felony.
To prove you are guilty of a crime, the person has to show evidence that covers both the elements against you. If the charges don’t hold, the prosecutor can charge you with trespass or any other criminal offense but not burglary.
Anyway, if the person can prove you entered the premise with the intent to commit a crime without even any crime scene happening, you can still face conviction. Hence, be wary.
Going inside the building or structure
There are two ways of unlawfully entering a building:
1) You get inside the property without permission, and
2) You stay on the property beyond permitted hours.
For example, you go to a shop during operational hours, but don’t leave the place after it shuts down for the public to steal items.
The motive of theft, assault, and robbery
The second component of burglary refers to the mental state of the person with which he breaks into a building. He should enter the structure with the clear intent of committing a crime.
As far as punishment goes, circumstances play a critical role in the conviction. The person can face jail if he enters an uninhabited property to assault, to steal, or to rob. The person can be subject to a second-degree felony if he gets inside a habitation without permission with the intent of committing a crime, such as theft, assault, etc.
Burglary of a motor vehicle
Burgling a vehicle is a class A misdemeanor crime. Entering a car that is not available for habitation to commit a felony or theft can amount to the case of burglary. Using a body part or any other item to steal from the car satisfies both the elements of entry and the motive of the crime. The definition of burglary of a vehicle can change if it provides overnight accommodation, though.
Since almost every case of burglary involves two elements, you must note that the intent part is most crucial. If proven, you can face conviction. Having burglary charges against you can cause loss of employment, difficulty in finding an apartment, damage to the credibility, and more. If you are not a US citizen, your chances of naturalized citizenship can also get ruined. To make sure you don’t suffer such fate, consider taking Criminaldefense help.