There are three ways to commit a burglary of a building or habitation under Texas law. Whether something is a trespass or a burglary depends on what the person does or intends to do in the building or habitation.
Under section 30.02 of the Texas Penal Code, Burglary can be proven by the State in three ways:
A person without the effective consent of the owner:
- Enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
- Remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
- Enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
First section requires a person enter a building or habitation with the intent to commit one of three classes of crimes. Mere entry would be insufficient. The state must prove that the person intended to commit an assault, theft, or other felony.
The second section has requirement for intention to commit a crime, but would apply in situations where the person remains in the building longer than permitted. This may come up when the person hides in the bathroom of a restaurant to take property after everyone left.
The third section relies on the person’s actions.
Burglary of a habitation is a second degree felony and is punishable by between 2 and 20 years incarceration and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. However, if the person intended to commit a felony other than theft or committed a felony other than theft, it is a first degree felony, and is punishable between 5 and 99 years or life and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, call 817-231-0023 to discuss your case.