Your defense to Houston burglary charges is crucial. Without forming a strategic approach to fighting these charges, you could face serious consequences and have a felony conviction on your record for a lifetime. A strong defense to burglary charges also means your rights are protected and upheld through the criminal process. For all of these reasons, you deserve the best possible defense by a Houston Burglary Lawyer.
At Greco Neyland, we dedicate a significant part of our practice to the defense of property and theft offenses. The experienced Houston lawyers at Greco Neyland are familiar with the courts and process in Houston working on cases very similar to your burglary charges.
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Houston Burglary Attorney
Burglary in Texas once had a very specific and narrow meaning. A burglary lawyer in Houston or Harris County would defend individuals against charges for breaking and entering, into the home or residence of another person, to commit a theft or felony. However, the burglary laws have broadened over the years to incorporate entering commercial and other buildings.
You can be charged with burglary of:
- A private home or primary residence;
- A condominium or apartment;
- A commercial building, warehouse, or office;
- An industrial plant, facility, or factory;
- Vacation homes and timeshare properties;
- Shed or other out-building; or
- A boat used as a residence or having living accommodations.
Today, Houston also has a broader definition of what it means to unlawfully enter a building. You can commit burglary by any form or type of entry, including if you remain on the property after it is open to the public or by walking through an unlocked front door. This inclusive definition of burglary in Houston means there are more charges for the crime.
What Are the Houston Laws on Burglary?
Burglary is a crime in Houston under the Texas Penal Code, which are the criminal statutes applicable to the entire State of Texas. If you are accused of burglary it is a serious offense that is punished as a felony offense, and a Houston burglary lawyer can help.
The exact statute covering burglary in Texas is found at Section 30.02 of the Texas Penal Code. A Houston prosecutor must prove each element of burglary, as it is stated in Section 30.02. This law defines burglary as:
- Entering a residence or building of another person;
- Without the consent or permission of the owner; and
- With the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault in the building.
In Houston, a defendant can commit burglary without actually committing a separate crime inside the home or residence. What’s important is a person’s intent at the time. If there was a clear intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside, then the attempt is enough to be charged with a Houston burglary offense.
A similar property offense in Houston is called criminal trespass. Criminal trespass is a less serious crime under Texas law that applies to instances of breaking and entering, without the intent to commit a crime inside. Instead, you can be charged with criminal trespass for:
- Entering the property of another person, business, or entity;
- Without the consent or permission of the property owner;
- After receiving notice that you are not permitted on the property; or
- When the public is otherwise closed to the public.
Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor offense that applies to a wider range of structures and property than Houston burglary charges. You can criminally trespass on an aircraft, recreational park vehicle, agricultural property, industrial land, vacant land, and other vehicles.
Find a Top Houston Burglary Lawyer
If you are facing charges for burglary in Houston, you need the legal knowledge and insight of a Houston lawyer. By hiring a top Houston burglary lawyer, you receive better information about the criminal justice process, support through a trial and sentencing, and a better chance at acquittal from the charges.
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