Home Burglary Defense Attorneys Serving all of Dallas
The State of Texas takes every instance of burglary seriously. But when the burglarized building is someone’s residence, the stakes get even higher.
In Texas, the burglary of a habitation (i.e., home burglary) is a high-level criminal offense, tantamount to a home invasion. That can be true even if no property is taken from inside and no one is hurt.
There is a lot of confusion about the term “burglary” in general, and especially its specific application within Texas criminal law. While it typically gets categorized as a theft crime, burglary doesn’t always involve theft, and that confusion over the language in the law leads people to accidentally run afoul of it.
That’s unfortunate since the penalties for a home burglary conviction can be extremely severe. Defendants can end up paying tremendous fines and spending years in prison, with a felony criminal record to follow them when they’re eventually released. The stigma of a “home invasion” conviction may haunt them for the rest of their lives, even if the facts of the case don’t reflect the horrors that the term implies.
If you have been charged with a home burglary in Texas, you should get in touch with the Dallas home burglary defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. right away.
The prosecution is going to come at you with full-throttled aggression. They are typically eager to secure home burglary convictions, even if only for the appearance of having protected families in their districts from alleged invaders. You need an experienced and equally aggressive criminal defense firm on your side. We can help.
Our Dallas home burglary defense attorneys are proud to have represented clients against a wide range of trespassing, larceny, and burglary charges, and we have a keen appreciation for the prosecutor’s tactics in these cases.
We know the defenses that work, and we’ve even been able to achieve a complete dismissal of the charges in many of our cases. You can count on us to fight for you.
Understanding the Charge of Home Burglary in Texas
Under Texas law, the crime of home burglary is defined as entering a habitation (that is, a building where someone lives) without permission and with the intent to commit a felony or theft.
The law also applies to anyone who enters a building with permission but then hides inside with the intention of committing a felony or theft.
As with other kinds of burglary, conviction is possible even when nothing is stolen. That’s an important caveat, given that people typically think of burglary as a theft crime.
Entry can be made by any part of the body or even by a tool or device that the defendant is holding (like a flashlight or camera).
Penalties for Home Burglary in Texas
While most other burglaries are state jail felonies in Texas, home burglaries carry even greater penalties. They have prosecuted as second-degree felonies when the defendant intends to commit felony theft or an assault inside. If the intention was for any other felony, the crime rises to a first-degree felony, making it one of the most serious crimes in the entire state justice system.
- Second-degree felonies are punishable by 2 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-degree felonies, meanwhile, can result in 5 99 years in prison (or, in some cases, a life sentence), as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
You can see how quickly the crime escalates if the building in question is somebody’s home. That’s why it is essential that anyone accused of a home burglary in Texas get an aggressive lawyer on their side as quickly as possible. Our Dallas home burglary defense attorneys can help.
The Element of Intent
There are a number of defenses available in home burglary cases. One of the most successful comes down to the question of intent. The state must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intended to commit a felony or theft when you entered the home. (And to escalate the case to a more serious felony, the state must be able to show the specific felony you intended to commit.)
The intent is a difficult thing to prove. Prosecutors are good at what they do, though, and they have ample resources to aid in their efforts. You should never assume that you would avoid conviction, with the hopes that the intent element will fail in court. Defendants who represent themselves or allow an unprepared public defender to handle their cases are often left with disastrous consequences. An experienced private defense lawyer offers you your best chance at an optimal outcome.
Contact Our Dallas Home Invasion Defense Attorneys
Oberheiden, P.C. is here to fight for you and the sooner, the better. Time matters, so please don’t delay. We can set up a free consultation for your case today. Call us at 1-888-727-5154 or contact us online right away.
Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a national litigation and trial criminal defense attorney who practices exclusively in the area of federal law.