What is burglary habitation? Let’s start by learning what habitational burglary is.
What Exactly Is a Habitation Burglary?
Home invasion and burglary of habitation are equivalent words. Texas has even applied the law to force entry into a vehicle where someone is residing. It is a class A misdemeanor to break into a car that is not being used as a residence.
Not every residential burglary is a home invasion. Breaking and entering a building without authorization with the intent to conduct a severe crime can result in charges of burglary of a dwelling.
What is burglary habitation: What is the definition of burglary?
Burglary is typically defined as the illegal entry into virtually any structure (other than a home or business) with the intent of committing any crime other than theft or larceny. Unlike robberies, which involve the use of force or terror to take another person’s property, there is often no victim present during a burglary.
What distinguishes a criminal trespass from a burglary of habitation?
When someone intentionally enters or lingers on private property (land or a building) without the owner’s consent, it is considered criminal trespass in Texas. Trespassing can happen with or without the purpose of committing more crimes, unlike home burglaries.
The classification each receives in the Texas Criminal Code is another significant distinction between criminal trespass and burglary of habitation:
Burglary of habitation is a second-degree crime that carries a maximum $11,000 punishment and a maximum jail term of more than two years. If the defendant has a criminal history or uses a hazardous weapon while committing habitation burglary, the court may elevate the charge to a first-degree felony.
Criminal trespass is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.
What is burglary habitation: What Makes a Burglary?
Because state laws determine what constitutes a burglary, the elements of the crime may vary slightly from state to state.
The Model Penal Code and the majority of states utilize the same fundamental definition of burglary, which is:
- Unauthorized entrance and theft
- into a structure or occupied area
- with the intent to commit a crime there.
It’s critical to look more closely at each of those components, as they are all necessary for a burglary conviction to stand.
Protecting Your Home Against Potential Burglars and Thieves
Regardless of your existing area, if you are concerned about the general safety and security of your home, you should consider installing a smart home security system with cameras. Adding security to your home has never been easier with the right security cameras, DVR systems, and assistance from a professional company.
Security cameras and systems that are visible both inside and outside of a property are much more likely to dissuade potential thieves and burglars from targeting your home or place of business.
What is burglary habitation: Intrusion v. Force
Breaking into and entering a structure constitutes the first component of a burglary. There are two possible types of breaking-in: actual and constructive. Actual breaking entails using physical force, such as picking a lock or kicking a door in. Even opening a door that has been left slightly ajar would count as using very little force. Contrarily, constructive breaking entails approaches to entry that don’t necessitate the use of force, such as extortion or fraud.
No matter how they enter the building, robbers must also enter the structure to satisfy this requirement. The burglar need not actually enter the premises to commit a break-in; only a small entry is necessary. A hand through a window is sufficient to establish a burglary charge. It’s also worth noting that access must take place without the permission of the person occupying the property.
What is burglary habitation: The structure under construction or in use
As previously stated, burglary was a common law felony that focused on intrusions into one’s private dwelling.
Typically, states require that the structure be able to house either property or both people and animals. Homes and their associated structures, such as garages and sheds, unquestionably fit the bill under this description.
However, because fenced-off areas rarely provide shelter for humans, animals, or property, breaking into one may not be enough. For example, entering an amusement park after hours would not be considered a burglary, but breaking into a facility within the amusement park most likely would.
Furthermore, the building must be locked and vacant at the time of the crime. If a shoplifter, as opposed to a burglar, enters a store during regular business hours and takes anything from the shelf, they have broken the law. A burglary, on the other hand, has occurred if the person waits until after the store has closed, picks the lock on the front door, and steals the same thing.
Abandoned structures are often not considered structures for the purposes of a burglary accusation. Other criminal charges, but most certainly not a burglary indictment, may follow from breaking into an unoccupied, abandoned building.
What is burglary habitation: Intent
The intruder must have the deliberate intent to conduct a crime within the structure for the break-in to qualify as a burglary. Typically, this crime is theft; however, other offenses may also qualify as burglaries.
The crime must be distinct from the actual break-in. For instance, no burglary has happened if a person enters a building after hours to view a priceless work of art using deception, which is illegal. This is because the only crime that occurred was the use of fraud to enter the facility. It goes without saying that taking the artwork would make the offense a burglary.
The timeliness of the objective can be critical in determining the seriousness of a burglary claim. For example, if someone intended to commit the crime in question before breaking into the building, most states will consider it a burglary of the first degree (more serious).
It’s critical to review your state’s unique laws because many other factors can determine the type or severity of a burglary.
Is the burglary of a home legal in other states across the country?
The term “burglary of residence” is not commonly used in other states around the United States. Burglary is a recognized felony that is similar in many ways. To simplify the offense, all other states use the terms “burglary” or “theft” instead of “burglary of a habitation.” In many circumstances, “burglary of residence” accusations in the state of Texas carry the same penalties as traditional burglary charges in other jurisdictions.
Building Theft in Texas: A Felony?
Structure burglary is a felony in the state of Texas. Yes, because the state prosecutes it as a felony. It is a second-degree felony unless aggravating circumstances make the offense more serious.
Texas, for example, has situational penalties for burglary. If the structure is vacant, it is a state infraction. However, there must be proof that the person who entered the structure did so with the intent to commit a crime. In the absence of it, only criminal trespass charges are feasible. Even so, you could face felony charges.