Robberies and thefts occur throughout Texas, as these crimes have long been commonplace. Defendants might face burglary charges but not understand why. They did not steal anything, yet they faced such charges. Burglary is not theft. Instead, it is a separate crime and one that may accompany other charges, including theft.
Burglary charges in Texas
Burglary refers to someone’s unauthorized entry onto a property with the intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony. Per the Texas statute, an accused burglar need not commit another crime, as intent alone establishes burglary charges.
So, if someone enters a stranger’s home through an open window to steal a laptop, the person may face burglary charges. When evidence shows the suspect took the computer, the individual could face a combination of burglary and theft charges. Using the threat of violence to force someone to hand over belongings could mean burglary and robbery charges.
Felony charges and burglary
Persons charged with burglary could face felony charges, depending on the circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, the felonies could be first-degree, second-degree, or state-jail felonies. The penalties for felonies would be far worse than misdemeanor offenses, and a defendant might face multiple felony charges.
Criminal charges require proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and defense strategies could point out that there was no intention to commit a crime beyond the unlawful entry. Felony burglary charges could be inappropriate, as facts might show the accused committed misdemeanor trespassing.
Other defenses may note that the person had permission to enter, casting doubt on burglary and felony charges. And yes, some people face arrest after a case of mistaken identity. Ultimately, there are various defenses to burglary and trespassing charges, and plea bargains also remain an option in some cases.