Burglary of a Motor Vehicle is a common offense in Texas and is considered a crime of opportunity. It often occurs in store parking lots, outside daycares or in neighborhoods when property is left inside parked vehicles, sometimes in plain sight.
Breaking into someone’s vehicle can result in time behind bars, especially if the defendant is a repeat offender. As a result, anyone charged with a BMV should reach out to a Fort Worth car burglary lawyer for help. An experienced attorney can explain your options and work to get you the best outcome.
Burglary of a motor vehicle is defined in Texas Penal Code Section 30.04 as breaking into or entering a vehicle without the owner’s consent with intent to commit a felony or a theft.
For this type of offense, “entering” means to intrude any part of the body or any physical object connected to the body into the vehicle. Entry must be in the enclosed portion of the vehicle and not the outside of the vehicle. Here are two examples – one that would be considered BMV and another that would be considered theft.
It’s important to point out that it is also considered BMV for people to enter an unlocked vehicle and take property with owner’s consent – even if no property damage occurred.
For this crime to occur, Texas law requires that there be no effective consent of the owner. Similar to burglary of a coin-operated machine, there also has to be intent to commit a felony or theft. These two must occur simultaneously.
The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, without the consent of the owner, the defendant entered a vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft.
There are several possible defenses for someone charged with burglary of a motor vehicle in Texas including but not limited to:
The most susceptible element to attack is the intent requirement because the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to commit a theft or a felony when he or she entered the vehicle. Our team of Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers regularly handle these types of cases and will find the best possible defense strategy for you or your loved one.
This crime is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor, the highest level misdemeanor offense in Texas. There are several types of penalties involved for this type of crime that can be either combined or ordered separately: fines, jail, probation, and restitution.
Defendants who have been previously convicted of burglary of a motor vehicle, or individuals who break into vehicles to steal drugs, face harsher punishment than other offenders.
Unlike robbery, the crime of burglary rarely involves a confrontation between the perpetrator and the victim, meaning investigators must resort to piecing together circumstantial evidence. A lot of times, law enforcement will arrest an individual based on assumptions instead of evidence. The most common issues in these types of cases are statements by the accused, physical evidence such as blood or fingerprints, and the intent of the defendant.
When facing a criminal conviction in a circumstantial case, it’s imperative for a team of experienced criminal attorneys to thoroughly investigate your case and develop a strategy that will result in the best possible outcome.
Our team of experienced Fort Worth car burglary lawyers are ready and able to defend your burglary of a vehicle charge. Our team has hundreds of jury trials worth of experience and three of our attorneys are board certified in criminal law. If you have been charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, it’s important to contact us as soon as possible so we can begin working on your case.