Collin County Burglary Of A Habitation Lawyer

In Texas, it’s possible to be charged with burglary even if nothing is taken. Just reaching your hand into the window of someone’s house or kicking in a door can be enough to warrant a felony charge.

It all comes down to intent. If prosecutors can show that you entered someone’s property with the intent to commit a theft, felony or assault, you can be charged with burglary of a habitation or building.

Collin County Burglary of a Habitation Lawyer, Serving Serving Plano, Allen, Frisco, Prosper, Carrollton and Surrounding Areas

The good news is that a skilled Collin County burglary of a habitation lawyer can help you fight these charges. The attorneys at Varghese Summersett have handled hundreds of burglary cases over the decades – first as prosecutors and now as highly skilled defense attorneys. Because we have been on the other side, we know how the prosecution thinks, and we use that to your advantage.

The stakes are high. Hire the best lawyers.

In this article, we will explain the burglary law and punishment, as well as possible defenses that may be raised in these types of cases. Rest assured, we will thoroughly investigate your case and work tirelessly for the best possible outcome.

What constitutes Collin County burglary of a habitation or building?

Burglary laws are very broad in Texas. According to Texas Penal Code 30.02, a person commits burglary if he or she, without the effective consent of the owner:

  • enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  • enters a habitation or a building (or any portion of a building) not open to the public with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  • remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation.

The first definition is pretty straightforward. If you unlawfully enter someone’s house or building and commit (or try to commit) a felony, theft or assault or try you can be charged with burglary.

The other two definitions are a little more confusing. If you enter a habitation or a building that is not open to the public (like an office after-hours) with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, you can be charged with burglary. Again, the keyword is intent.

Let’s say you open a window with a crowbar and then run away because the alarm sounded. Even though you didn’t take anything and didn’t even step foot in the house or business, you could be charged with burglary if prosecutors can prove that your intention was to commit a theft, felony or assault.

Under Texas law, “enter” means to intrude any part of the body or any physical object connected to your body. So, this means if you reach your arm through a window or use a crowbar to push open a door, you can be charged with burglary. In layman’s terms, you just have to “break the plane.”

Likewise, if you hide out in a department store or restaurant until everyone is gone with the intent to steal something, you could be charged with burglary of a building – even if you were caught before any crime was carried out.

What’s the punishment for burglary of a habitation or building?

Burglary of a habitation is a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. However, it can be elevated to a first-degree felony if the person commits or attempts to commit a felony other than theft. A first-degree felony is punishable by 5 years to up to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

Burglary of a building is a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a maximum $10000 fine.

Why is Collin County burglary of a habitation punished more harshly than burglary of a building?

Burglary of a habitation is considered a more serious offense than burglary of a building because it carries the potential for great bodily injury or death. When someone unlawfully enters someone’s home, they are invading that person’s privacy and sense of security. The legislature has determined that this type of crime is more serious than burglary of a building and, as such, is punishable by harsher penalties.

Our lawyers are your bridge over troubled waters.

What’s the difference between a habitation and a building?

A habitation is defined as “a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons.” Examples of a habitation include a house, apartment, mobile home, boat, RV, trailer or garage.

A building is defined as “any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation or for some purpose of trade, manufacture, ornament, or use.” Examples include office buildings, restaurants, warehouses, barns, and storage units.

What are possible defenses to burglary of a habitation or building?

An experienced Collin County burglary of a habitation lawyer will review all of the facts and circumstances of your case to determine the best possible defense strategy. Some more common defenses include:

  • Lack of intent.
  • Mistaken identity.
  • Consent from owner.
  • False accusation.
  • Property is not a habitation or building under Texas law.

If you have been charged with burglary of a habitation or building, it’s important to contact an experienced Collin County burglary of a habitation lawyer as soon as possible. The consequences of a burglary conviction can be far-reaching.

Contact a Collin County Burglary of a Habitation Lawyer Today.

If there has been a rash of break-ins in Collin County, police and prosecutors may assume you are responsible and will work to build more cases against you. That’s why it is so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible. We can help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights. Contact Varghese Summersett today to schedule a free consultation with a Collin County burglary of a habitation lawyer. Call (214) 903-4000.

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