A family-owned Plano jewelry store experienced a burglary last month. The suspect used a rock to break open the glass and enter the store. The burglar stole $50,000 worth of rings and left on foot. Unfortunately, the business owner’s insurance will only cover 10% of the jewelry store’s losses. Law enforcement is investigating the case, which is unusual considering there have not been any other recent burglaries in the area. Despite the store’s cameras and alarm systems, the suspect still made it in and out of the store without alarms sounding.
Facing Burglary Charges in Texas
Burglary includes several different types of theft that are illegal under Texas law. In all types of burglary, a defendant enters a structure, habitation, or private building with the intent to commit a crime and without the consent of the owner. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit some type of crime upon entering the building. Typically, prosecutors will allege that the defendant attempted to commit theft, assault, or another felony.
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in an unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime. If they cannot prove these elements, the court cannot convict the defendant. A defendant breaking into a jewelry store, stealing jewelry, and walking out is a clear-cut case of burglary. In the case mentioned above, the suspect entered a dwelling without the owner’s consent and intended to commit the crime of theft. There are several different categories of burglary, each with specific elements.
Burglary of a Non-Habitation Building
Burglary of a non-habitation building occurs when the defendant unlawfully enters or stays inside a public or private building that is not a habitation with the intent to commit a theft, assault, or felony.
Burglary of a Habitation
Burglary of a habitation occurs when a defendant engages in a home invasion. When a defendant enters someone’s home without permission with the intent to commit felony theft or salt inside, they will face charges for burglary of a habitation. Conviction of this crime results in a second-degree felony. However, if the defendant entered the habitation with an intent to commit a felony other than felony theft, he or she will face first-degree felony charges.
Burglary of a Vehicle
Breaking into or staying inside of a vehicle without permission and with the intent to commit assault, theft, or another felony inside the vehicle is a class A misdemeanor. Keep in mind that the defendant’s entire body does not need to be in the vehicle to be charged with this crime. Instead, prosecutors can bring charges if any part of the body or even an object such as a coat hanger becomes inserted into the vehicle in an attempt to gain entry.
Contact a Plano Defense Lawyer Today
The penalties for burglary charges are serious, and if you are facing burglary charges, you need an experienced lawyer. Contact the Plano criminal defense lawyers at Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation.