Burglary of a Habitation Law Explained
The words “home invasion” and “burglary of habitation” mean the same thing. However, not every home burglary constitutes a home invasion. Habitation can mean different places, like houses, apartments, and RVs. If you enter any building illegally with the plan to do something serious, you can get charged with habitation burglary. So, even if you didn’t steal anything, you could still be charged if you were trying to harm the owner or damage the property.
In Texas, being charged with burglary of a dwelling is much more serious than theft. That means taking a purse from someone’s bedroom can lead to a much longer prison sentence compared to taking it from them on the street.
Understanding the Texas Burglary of a Habitation Laws
In many people’s minds, when they hear about the burglary of a dwelling, they picture someone forcibly breaking into a house to steal valuables. However, in Texas, the concept of burglary extends far beyond this common perception. It encompasses a broader range of unlawful entries into a residence with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.
Burglary entails more than just stealing items. Even if a person enters someone’s home without permission and has intentions that involve any serious criminal activity, it can be legally classified as burglary. In other words, the focus isn’t solely on the act of stealing items but also on any harmful or unlawful intentions within the confines of someone’s residence. So, in Texas, the legal definition of burglary goes beyond just theft, making it crucial for individuals to be aware of the broader implications of this offense.
Key Elements of the Texas Burglary of a Habitation:
It is found in Texas Penal Code Chapter 30. Section 30.02 outlines the components of the offense. The following are the fundamental aspects of a habitation burglary:
- Enter a habitation and commit felony, theft, or assault.
- Attempts to commit an assault, felony, or theft by breaking into a residence. (This includes invading any portion of your body or any physical object connected to your body)
- Remains concealed with the intent to commit an attack, felony, or theft within the habitation or a building.
The difference between Burglary of a Habitation and Trespassing
Texas possesses a fascinating law known as “burglary” which might seem synonymous with theft, but it’s not. Even if no stealing occurs, it is still considered burglary.
However, “burglary of habitation” differs from another Texas statute known as “criminal trespass.” Criminal trespass occurs when someone enters someone else’s property, such as land or a building, without permission from the owner. The main difference between criminal trespass and criminal burglary is what they’re about. Criminal trespass means going on someone’s property without permission, whether you plan to do something wrong or not. It primarily involves being in a place where you are not authorized to be.
Burglary of a Habitation Penalty Offense
The burglary of a dwelling in Texas is taken seriously by the law. If someone is charged with this crime, they could face significant consequences:
- Second-Degree Crime: This means they might get sentenced to prison for a minimum of two years and a maximum of twenty years, plus a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-Degree Felony: If the person had intentions of committing a different serious crime, not just theft, or if they committed a felony apart from theft, it’s even more serious. They could face a minimum of five years to a maximum of 99 years in prison, along with a $10,000 fine.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you or a loved one is suspected of criminal charges of burglarizing a residence, you should seek an experienced attorney. They should have expertise in defending against this type of charge. Home invasions are unlawful deeds that evoke terror in every house owner. They are violations that can be dealt with harshly by our legal system.
Texas Criminal Defense Group has a reputation for defending against property crimes such as burglary and criminal trespass. We will make every attempt to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future. Having a good lawyer can really help your case, even if the law is confusing.