Killeen Burglary Defense Attorneys
Legal defense against felony burglary charges in Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, and throughout Central Texas
Here in Texas, burglary charges involve being accused of illegally entering house, building, or vehicle. You might read the charges as “burglary of habitation,” and you might also be surprised to hear that you can be charged with burglary even if you didn’t steal anything. This is why it is so important to understand exactly what burglary means, as well as the charges against you and the possible penalties upon conviction.
At Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, we understand facing criminal charges of any kind can be confusing and intimidating. We understand you may have been falsely accused, or you may simply have made an honest mistake. Whatever the situation, we want to help. Our Killeen criminal defense attorneys know how to handle these types of cases, as well as a thorough knowledge of the intricate laws involved with felony burglary charges. Get in touch with us today for help building the strongest defense possible.
How does Texas define burglary?
The state describes burglary per Texas Penal Code Title 7, Chapter 30:
A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
(1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
(2) remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
(3) enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
An individual can also be charged with burglary if they break into or enter a coin-operated or collection machine or vehicle. However, these are generally prosecuted as misdemeanors rather than felonies.
The attorneys at Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm can examine the circumstances of your arrest to ensure your rights were not violated, and whether or not you even committed a burglary crime. We also work from the beginning of your case to minimize any possible criminal penalties against you.
What are the possible penalties for Killeen burglary crimes?
If you find yourself facing burglary charges, it’s important to understand the potential penalties upon conviction – and why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Per the Texas Penal Code Chapter 12, penalties for burglary are as follows:
- If the offense was committed in a vehicle and you have certain previous charges against you, you’ll be charged with a state jail felony – resulting in 180 days to 2 years in jail, and fines up to $10,000.
- If the offense was committed in a building other than a habitation, you’ll be charged with a state jail felony – resulting in 180 days to 2 years in jail, and fines up to $10,000.
- If the offense was committed in a home/habitation, you’ll be charged with a second-degree felony – resulting in 2 to 20 years in prison, and fines up to $10,000.
- If the offense was committed in a home/habitation with the intent to, attempted to, or did commit a felony aside from theft, you’ll be charged with a first-degree felony – resulting in 5 to 99 years or life in prison, with fines up to $10,000.
These are massive penalties and, as you can see, can affect you for the rest of your life. The collateral consequences of a felony conviction can be extreme. Don’t try to handle these charges alone – even if you know you’re innocent
What factors affect the severity of Killeen burglary charges?
Your charges may be enhanced (meaning more penalties will be added) if there are certain circumstances involved with your burglary case. These can include:
- Having previous criminal charges
- Possession of a weapon
- Possession of illegal drugs
- The location of the crime (federal property, etc.)
- Additional related charges, like assault
If convicted, these factors can add more severe penalties, including increased prison time and financial penalties.
How can a Killeen criminal defense attorney help?
One of the most important things about burglary charges is that the prosecution must prove intent. They must show that you, as the defendant, entered (or remained) in a house/habitation or building unlawfully, and then they must show that you intended to commit a crime other than trespassing. If they can’t show that you had the intent to commit theft or another crime, they can’t charge you with burglary.
This is where Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm comes in. We work to do everything possible to either reduce your charges or have them dropped altogether. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we can apply the following defenses to your claim:
- You had permission to be on the property
- You had no intent to commit a crime
- Proving your alibi
- Showing lack of proper evidence
- Demonstrating violation of your Constitutional rights
First and foremost, if you’re accused of or arrested for burglary, do not give a statement to police until you’ve spoken to one of our attorneys. If you haven’t read our blog about police interrogation techniques, it’s certainly worth a look.
Dependable legal help when you’re facing felony burglary charges in Killeen
Burglary charges are serious. The harshest penalties can put a person in prison for life. If you’ve been charged with burglary, it’s crucial to get a Killeen criminal defense attorney on your side immediately. At Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, we start building a strategic defense on your behalf from the start, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the entire process. Don’t put your future and freedom in jeopardy – let us help. Call 254-680-4655 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. We have offices in Killeen and Copperas Cove, and are available for in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us.