While most people think of burglary as a form of theft, the definition of burglary of a building in Texas is far more expansive. Burglary of a building is the entry into a building, or a portion of a building, without the consent of the owner with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.
If you were charged with this offense, it’s important to reach out to a skilled burglary lawyer for assistance as soon as possible. The earlier you can start preparing your defense, the better off you will be in the long run.
How is Burglary of a Building Defined?
Burglary of a building does not require the complete entry into a building. In other words, reaching into a window or a door is sufficient to meet the definition of burglary of a building. Similarly, entering any portion of a building is sufficient.
Entering a business after hours, entering a portion of the building not open to the general public, or staying in a business after it has closed, without the consent of the owner, all are forms of “unlawful entry” for purposes of the burglary statute. Three examples of “entering” are as follows:
- A person breaks a window and enters a bar after hours with the intent to take money;
- A person enters a storeroom during business hours when the storeroom is off-limits to customers and is intended for employees only with the intent to take supplies;
- A person hides in a restroom of a department store and remains in the store after the store has closed waiting to commit theft.
How is “Entry” Defined in Terms of this Scenario?
“Entry” has a broad definition for purposes of burglary. Under the statute, if any part of the body, or any physical object connected with the body, “crosses the plane” to the interior of the building, entry is complete. Here are two examples of a completed burglary:
- A person enters in one of the manners describes above, and takes something of value and leaves the business;
- A person walks in the door uninvited with the intent to beat up one of the occupants.
What are the Potential Punishments for Burglary of a Building in Texas?
Burglary of a building is a state jail felony, which is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine. This should not be confused with burglary of a habitation – which is a structure in which someone sleeps or resides – which is a second-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Building a Defense for a Burglary of a Building Charge
If you have been charged with burglary of a building in Fort Worth, reach out to our dedicated legal team for assistance with your case. Call today for a free consultation.