Burglary is one of the most common charges in and around Houston, Texas. As an experienced criminal defense attorney in the area, Michael Pham has seen more than his share of burglary cases.
- In Texas, a person can be charged with burglary if he or she, without the consent of the property owner:
- Enters a habitation, a building, or any part of a building not open to the public with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault,
- Remains concealed in a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony, a theft, or an assault, or
- Enters a building or habitation and committing or attempting to commit a felony, theft, or an assault
So in effect, burglary is a two-part crime, which is often where the prosecution’s case falls apart in Houston courts. That is, they can often prove a trespass, where someone is in a building without permission, but proving the intent to commit a theft, assault or other felony is often difficult. An experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney like Mr. Pham will hold the prosecutor to his burden in order to achieve the best possible result for his clients in burglary cases.
Burglary convictions are classified as state jail felonies and the sentence up to 2 years in a state jail and fines of up to $10,000. But, if the property on which the crime was committed is a “habitation,” or a residence, the offender faces second degree felony charges and up to 20 years in prison.
In addition to traditional burglary charges, burglary of a vehicle is a crime into itself in Texas. This crime is fairly self-explanatory in that it is breaking into the vehicle of someone with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Remember though, like traditional burglary, burglary of a vehicle is a two-part crime that requires the prosecution to prove the intent to commit a felony or a theft, which is problematic in some cases. Generally burglary of a vehicle is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential 1 year in jail. However, should there be two or more similar offenses on the offender’s record, or she can be charged with a state jail felony and face 2 years in a state jail and a $10,000 fine.
Especially in burglary, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney like Mr. Pham can often make the difference between prison and freedom. If you or a loved one are charged with burglary and want an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer, contact Houston attorney Michael H. Pham at (713) 236-7791.