The crime of theft in Texas involves the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property, and a person can be charged with robbery if he or she commits a theft and causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death. Burglary, on the other hand, is a crime that an individual can be arrested for even if nothing is actually stolen.
Burglary is commonly referred to as "breaking and entering" because the criminal offense is not so much about the intended theft as it is the unlawful entry into a private home, place of business, or other structure. Burglary is often a felony offense, but the grade of the crime may be enhanced if the alleged crime was committed in a habitation or involved the intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or the alleged offender committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft.
Lawyer for Burglary Arrests in Houston, TX
If you think that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested for an alleged burglary in southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. Horak Law aggressively defends clients charged with various theft and property crimes in communities all over the greater Harris County area, such as Richmond-Rosenberg, Pearland, Houston, Missouri City, Spring, League City, Galveston, Sugar Land, Pasadena, The Woodlands, Conroe, and many others.
Matt Horak is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Houston who can challenge claims about unlawful entry or prove that there was no criminal intent. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to receive a confidential consultation.
Harris County Burglary Crimes Information Center
- How are burglary crimes classified?
- What are the possible prison sentences for convictions?
- Where can I learn more about burglary in Houston?
Texas Penal Code § 30.01(1) defines a building as "any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation or for some purpose of trade, manufacture, ornament, or use." Under Texas Penal Code § 30.01(2), a habitation is defined as "a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle."
Texas Penal Code § 30.02(a) establishes that a person commits burglary if, without the effective consent of the owner, he or she:
- enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault;
- remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
- enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
For purposes of this statute, the term "enter" means to intrude any part of the body or any physical object connected with the body. In other words, an alleged offender does not need have his or her entire body enter a habitation or building in order to commit a burglary offense. An alleged offender can be charged with burglary simply for unlawfully extending any part of his or her body or an object connected to the body into a habitation or building.
Burglary is a state jail felony if the alleged offense is committed in a building other than a habitation, but a burglary committed in a habitation is a second-degree felony. If the premises involved in a burglary offense was a habitation and any party to the offense entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft, burglary is a first-degree felony.
Additionally, Texas Penal Code § 30.03 makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an alleged offender
Convictions for burglary can carry steep consequences. The possible sentence a person can receive depends on the grade of the alleged offense. Generally, burglary convictions are punishable as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000;
- State Jail Felony — Up to two years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000;
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; and
- First-Degree Felony — Up to life or 99 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
Crime Stoppers of Houston — Crime Stoppers of Houston is a nonprofit organization with the mission to solve and prevent serious crime in the Greater Houston Area in partnership with citizens, media and the criminal justice system. On this website, you can learn about various Crime Stoppers programs, including the Tip Line Program, Safe School Program, and Safe Community Program. Tips can be anonymously submitted via phone, text message, the Crime Stoppers mobile app, or online, and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000.
Crime Stoppers of Houston, Inc.
3001 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
CloseWatch Harris County — CloseWatch Harris County is a mobile crime watch tool that allows users to report suspicious or criminal activity. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices, and digital photos or videos from cell phones or cameras can be submitted directly to the officers investigating specific crimes. You can use this website to view crime maps, sign up for alerts, and find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Harris County Sheriff's Office
1200 Baker St.
Houston, TX 77002
Horak Law | Houston Burglary Defense Attorney
Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation in southeast Texas for an alleged burglary? Do not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Horak Law as soon as possible.
Houston criminal defense lawyer Matt Horak represents individuals in communities throughout Fort Bend County, Harris County, Liberty County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, and Waller County. Call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a initial consultation.