What Constitutes Burglary of a Motor Vehicle in Texas? What Are the Potential Penalties?
You’re under investigation or police have formally arrested and charged you with burglary of a motor vehicle in Texas. What doe that mean? How is it different from grand or petty larceny? What are the potential consequences of a conviction?
What Is Burglary?
Though burglary is commonly associated with theft offenses, such as larceny or robbery, the legal distinction between burglary and those crimes is that burglary typically requires some type of illegal entry onto or into property. Though the objective of the illegal entry is most often theft, the “break-in” need not be for that specific purpose, but only to commit any type of crime.
How Does Texas Define Burglary of a Motor Vehicle?
In Texas, a person can be charged with burglary of a vehicle if he or she “enters” another person’s motor vehicle, without the permission of the owner, for the objective of perpetrating a felony or any type of theft offense. Burglary does not, however, require that a person go fully into the vehicle—if any part of the body intrudes into the space inside the vehicle, a person can be charged with burglary of a vehicle. Furthermore, if a person causes some physical object to enter the car, that person can be charged with burglary of a vehicle.
How Is Burglary of a Motor Vehicle Prosecuted in Texas?
In most situations, burglary of a motor vehicle will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If the defendant has one prior conviction for burglary of a motor vehicle, he or she may still be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, but must serve at least six months in jail. If there have been two or more prior convictions, or if the burglary involves a railroad car, it will be charged as a state jail felony. Furthermore, if the vehicle entered is owned by a prescription drug company, and it can be shown that the defendant entered the vehicle with the purpose of committing theft of a controlled substance, it can be charged as a third-degree felony.
Contact the Proven Criminal Defense Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we aggressively protect the rights of people in Texas who are under investigation, have been arrested or are being prosecuted for a crime, including burglary of a motor vehicle. We will fully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case, verifying that your constitutional rights were protected.
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone facing potential criminal charges. To schedule an appointment with a strong and effective criminal defense lawyer, Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.