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When most people hear the words “burglary of a habitation” they think of someone breaking into a home and stealing something. However, the definition of burglary in Texas is far broader and includes any entry into a home when the person has the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault. In other words, nothing has to actually be taken. An experienced burglary attorney can help explain these nuances and guide you through the legal system.
The definition for burglary of a habitation can be found in Texas Penal Code Section 30.02, which states that a person commits an offense if he or she enters or remains concealed within a habitation with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, or once inside, they actually commit or attempt to commit a felony, theft, or assault.
A “habitation” means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:
Under Texas law, “entry into a habitation” occurs if any part of an individual’s body entered the habitation or any physical object connected to the individual entered the habitation. It is possible to be charged with burglary of a habitation without actually setting foot inside the home.
Burglary of a Habitation is generally a second-degree felony carrying a punishment range of 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
However, it can become a first-degree felony if the perpetrator commits or attempts to commit a felony other than theft. The punishment range for a first degree felony is up to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
According to Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01, the statute of limitations for Burglary of a Habitation (where the felony intended, attempted or committed was not sexual assault of a child) in Texas is five years.