Being charged with burglary or robbery in Texas is a very serious matter. In addition to fines and jail time, a criminal conviction can make it difficult to get a job, go to school or find housing.
If you are facing robbery or burglary charges in Houston, Texas, your best course of action is to seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Lisa Strauss Shapiro. A former prosecutor turned defense attorney, Lisa Shapiro puts her unique skills and background to work on behalf of her clients and will fight to get the best outcome possible for burglary cases in Houston.
Different Types of Theft in Texas
Texas state law defines many types of theft and assigns specific punishments for each crime. Two of the most serious types of theft in Texas are robbery and burglary. While there are many similarities between the two offenses, there are also many differences. If you are facing robbery or burglary cases in Houston, it’s important to seek the services of a criminal defense attorney who know the differences between the two.
Robbery Cases in Texas
Under section 29.02 of the Texas Penal Code, robbery is defined as a person committing theft who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another or intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
Robbery is a violent crime that involves the use of fear, intimidation, threat or physical force to steal money or property; a burglary does not have to involve violence for a conviction.
In robbery the victim is present during the crime; this is not true for burglary. In fact most burglaries occur when the victim is away.
Burglary Cases in Texas
According to Texas Penal Code 30.02, an individual commits burglary if he or she, without consent of the owner 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; remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
Penalties for Burglary and Robbery
Penalties for burglary and robbery are based upon the type of offense the defendant has been accused of committing. Mitigating and aggravating factors can also have an effect upon a defendant’s sentencing.
Unlike burglary, robbery is considered to be a violent crime. In Texas, robbery is usually classified as a second degree felony (2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000). Aggravated robbery is a much more serious and can result in a first degree felony (5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000).
Unlike robbery, a theft does not have to take place for a person to be charged with burglary. Nor do you have to forcibly enter a structure to have committed the crime of burglary. You do not even have to physically enter the building to be charged with burglary. Under the law “enter” means to intrude with any part of your body or any physical object connected to the body.
If the felony is committed in a building other than a habitation, it is considered a state jail felony (180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than
$10,000); entering a habitation makes it a second degree felony. Burglary becomes a first degree felony when the burglary is committed with the intent to commit a felony other than felony theft, such as rape or murder.
Get Help With Burglary Cases In Houston
Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys Lisa Strauss Shapiro has a long history of helping defendants in Houston theft crimes such as robbery and burglary. Lisa will utilize all her experience and know how to get you the best outcome possible for your case.
Don’t think that just because you’ve been charged with theft, burglary or robbery that you are automatically going to be guilty. There’s always hope – especially when you have Houston criminal defense lawyer Lisa Strauss Shapiro on your side. Contact Lisa Shapiro Strauss today to schedule a free consultation.