Dallas Burglary of a Vehicle Lawyer | Burglary Defense [2023]

Dallas Burglary of a Vehicle Lawyer, Serving Dallas and Surrounding Areas

Burglary of a vehicle is a common crime in Dallas, both in residential and commercial areas. Cars are regularly targeted in parking lots of restaurants, daycares, and apartments, as well as outside homes in neighborhoods.

Burglary of a Motor Vehicle (BMV) is often a crime of opportunity, meaning it wasn’t planned but was carried out after a bag or computer was left in plain sight or a car door was left unlocked. Regardless of the circumstances, BMV charges can carry serious consequences. Jail time is a possibility, especially if the defendant has been convicted before of the same offense.

Dallas Burglary of A Vehicle

If you or a loved one is facing BMV charges, it’s important to contact an experienced Dallas burglary of a vehicle lawyer as soon as possible. Our team has vast experience defending BMV charges with outstanding results. We will listen to the facts and circumstances of your case and work to get you the most favorable outcome possible. Keep reading to get answers to some frequently asked questions, including ways our attorneys can attack elements of a prosecution’s case.

What constitutes burglary of a motor vehicle in Dallas?

Under Texas Penal Code 30.04, a person commits burglary of a motor vehicle if he or she:

  1. breaks into or enters a vehicle or any part of the vehicle
  2.  with the intent to commit any felony or theft
  3.  without the owner’s consent.

All three elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of burglary of a motor vehicle. If a Dallas burglary of a vehicle lawyer at our firm can disprove any element, there is a good chance we can beat the charge. Below we will explain each element more thoroughly.

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Entry into a vehicle: Prosecutors must prove that the defendant “entered” the vehicle. Under Texas law, “enter” means to intrude any part of the body or any physical object connected with the body into the enclosed space vehicle. For example:

  • taking something out of the bed of someone’s pickup would be considered entry, and therefore burglary of a motor vehicle, because it’s an enclosed space.
  • taking a license plate or hubcaps off of a vehicle would not be considered entry, and therefore not BMV, because it’s not an enclosed space. That would constitute theft.

It’s important to point out that use of force is not necessary to be charged with BMV. Opening an unlocked vehicle is considered entry.

Intent to commit a felony or theft: Prosecutors must prove that the defendant broke into or “entered” the vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft.

Lack of owner’s consent: Prosecutors must prove that the owner of the vehicle did not give the defendant consent to enter his or her vehicle.

Can I be charged with car burglary if I didn’t actually steal anything?

Yes, you can be charged with BMV in Dallas County even if you didn’t take anything. Theft is not a necessary element of burglary of a motor vehicle. The prosecutor only has to prove that you made entry with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Occasionally, we hear about a car burglar who goes up and down neighborhood streets breaking into cars looking for items to steal – but doesn’t actually take something out of each car. Still, the actor could face a separate charge for each vehicle that was entered.

What is the punishment for BMV in Dallas?

Burglary of a motor vehicle is generally a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a maximum $4000 fine. However, you could face harsher penalties if you have been previously convicted of BMV or broke into a vehicle to steal a controlled substance.

  • One previous BMV conviction: Minimum six months in jail
  • Two or more previous BMV convictions:  Up to two years in a state jail and maximum $10,000 fine.
  • Breaking into a vehicle to steal a controlled substance: Third degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison.
  • Breaking into a rail car: State jail felony, punishable by up to two years in a state jail.

In addition to jail time and fines, people convicted of BMV could also be ordered to pay restitution. In other words, pay back the owner for the loss of property or expenses associated with the damage.

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Can you get probation for BMV?

Probation is a possibility in many BMV cases, especially for a first offense. Probation sentences may last up to two years with the possibility of extension. If you are granted probation, you must comply with a wide range of probation conditions, such as maintaining employment, not committing crimes, reporting to a probation officer, paying all fines and restitution, and performing community service. Violating probation can result in additional penalties, such as increased fines or having to serve the remainder of the sentence in jail. Speak with a skilled Dallas burglary of a vehicle lawyer to find out if probation is a possible resolution for your case.

What are the possible defenses for burglary for motor vehicle charges in Dallas?

A Dallas burglary of a vehicle lawyer at Varghese Summersett will thoroughly evaluate all of the evidence and the facts and circumstances surrounding your case in determining the best defense possible. Possible defenses could include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of evidence
  • Lack of intent to commit a felony or theft
  • Owner’s consent
  • Mistaken identity
  • Alibi

Defenses for Dallas Vehicle Burglary

Again, these are all just possibilities. Our team has decades of experience, first as prosecutors and now as highly-regarded board certified defense attorneys. We will hold prosecutors to their burden of proof and challenge the evidence, as well as any eyewitness testimony.

Contact an Experienced Dallas Burglary of a Vehicle Lawyer Today.

If you are facing a BMV charge in Dallas, it’s important to retain counsel as soon as possible. The earlier an attorney can start working on your case the better off you will be in the long run. Call 214-903-4000 for a free consultation with an experienced Dallas burglary of a vehicle lawyer today. Find out why Varghese Summersett is the criminal defense firm people turn to when they are facing the biggest problems in their lives.

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