The crime of burglary is defined by Texas Penal Code §30.02.
Generally, a person can be charged with burglary if they unlawfully enter a building, habitat, or vehicle with the intent to commit theft, assault, or any other crime.
Importantly, the term “unlawfully” embraces both forced entry and unauthorized entry like entering through an unlocked door without the owner’s consent.
The criminal penalties for a burglary charge, assuming the person is convicted, can range from a state jail felony to a first-degree felony. The differences in the severity of the penalty is contingent on a multitude of factors such as the type of premises invaded and whether there were any aggravating circumstances.
Tad Nelson & Associates, experienced Galveston criminal defense lawyers, provide legal representation for individual charged with burglary offenses. We have extensive experience crafting excellent legal defenses and take pride in helping our clients.
If you need to speak with a defense attorney about a burglary charge or any other criminal offense, contact our office today. Schedule your free case review today by calling 409-765-5614.
Burglary Charges & False Arrests
False arrests for burglary happen with disconcerting regularity. Imagine, for instance, a person being apprehended for entering their estranged spouse’s home. Even though they were technically still cohabitating and had tacit approval to enter, police arrested them anyway.
Or a scenario where a lost hiker takes refuge in an abandoned shack and gets arrested for burglary. Although technically a crime, they were merely seeking shelter from inclement weather.
These instances exemplify scenarios where “mens rea,” or criminal intent, is absent. As outlined in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, you have a Constitutional right to a fair trial where these issue can be detailed. As your legal counsel, our job is to explore every grain of evidence that can weaken the prosecution’s case.
Potential Legal Defenses
Absence of Criminal Intent
As referenced earlier, an absence of criminal intent can hurt the prosecution’s case. If we can demonstrate a lack of criminal intent, it could render the state’s case null and void.
Right of Entry
Proving that you had a legal right to be on the premise can mean an easy case dismissal in Galveston County. Texas law stipulates that entry into your own domicile or a shared habitat is usually not considered burglary, regardless of relationship friction.
It’s not unprecedented for an innocent person to be arrest for burglary. DNA evidence, eyewitness accounts, and even alibis can all converge to prove your innocence.
Potential Penalties for Burglary
For individual convicted of burglary, the consequences are severe.
At minimum, the offense is a state jail felony, the least severe classification. Post conviction penalties can result in up to two years in a state jail and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
At the other end of the spectrum, a first-degree felony can attract a sentence ranging from five to 99 years, or life imprisonment, along with a fine not exceeding $10,000.
The severity of the criminal classification of the offense is contingent on the details of the incident any previous criminal history on part of the accused party.
Galveston Burglary Defense Lawyers
Tad Nelson & Associates
If you or a loved one are grappling with burglary charges in Galveston County, it’s imperative to secure legal representation quickly. Considering the penalties associated with burglary convictions, it’s an urgent necessity.
Let us review your case. Call us at 409-765-5614 to schedule your initial free consultation today.