It’s important to understand that not all theft charges are created equal. Unfortunately, many assume that stealing is stealing, and the consequences they can face for burglary are the same as shoplifting. However, this is far from the truth. As such, if you are facing a burglary charge, understanding the penalties you can face and how Houston theft crime lawyers can help you navigate these complex matters is crucial. You’ll want to keep reading to learn what you must know about these intense criminal charges.

What Constitutes Burglary?

When thinking of the different theft crimes, many assume they are the same. However, this is far from the truth, as different circumstances warrant different charges. As such, you can be charged with burglary if you enter a habitation, dwelling, or any part of a building with the intent to commit a felony crime, assault, or theft. Additionally, if you remain concealed with the intent to commit theft, assault, or felony, you can be charged.

For example, if you break into a home without stealing anything because you thought you heard the owners return home, you can still be charged with burglary regardless. This is because you had the intent to take something from the home.

How Does Texas Punish Offenders?

In Texas, those charged with burglary can face intense penalties for their actions. However, it’s critical to understand that the consequences will rely on the circumstances of the burglary charge.

For example, if you are in a building that is not considered a habitation, you will be charged with a state jail felony, warranting 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if you burglarize a habitation, this is a second-degree felony. As such, you can face a minimum of two years but up to twenty years behind bars.

Are There Any Potential Defenses I Can Rely On?

It’s imperative to understand that in Texas, for a burglary conviction to stick, the prosecution must be able to prove intent. As such, if you can prove there was no intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony, you may be able to evade the charges. Generally, you’ll need to prove that you were there by mistake or that you had consent at one point to enter the property which was never revoked by the owner.

Another potential defense is mistaken identity. In many instances, if you are charged with an offense you did not commit but were in the area or if you resemble the actual perpetrator, you can be held responsible. As such, working with an attorney to help prove that you were not to blame for the burglary is critical.

If you have been charged with burglary, obtaining legal representation is critical to fighting for justice during these times. At the Sparks Law Firm, PC, our attorneys are committed to exploring all potential avenues to give you the best chance possible of receiving a favorable outcome. If you’re in trouble, contact us today to learn how we can help you.