Texas has new enhancement laws that go into effect for burglary cases in 2024. As of February 6, 2024, the punishment for Burglary in Texas is enhanced in certain circumstances. The manner and means of commiting a burglary remains the same. These changes only apply to the punishment assessed for the given offense. The Penal Code has added enhancements for burglary of a habitation, burglary of a building, and burglary of vehicles.
Overview of Texas Burglary Law
Burglary is when you enter a structure (building/habitation) – not open to the public – without the effective consent of the owner. If you entered the structure with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault therein. It is also committed if you attempt to do the same. It also applies to remaining concealed in a structure. If the structure is not open to the public, and you entered without the effective consent of the owner. If you entered with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault. A burglary of a building is typically a State Jail Felony. Conviction is punishable by 6 months to 2 years in State Jail, and a fine not to exceed $10.000. Burglary of a habitation is typically a 2nd degree felony. Conviction is punsihable by 2 to 20 years in the prison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Sometimes referred to as Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, or “BMV.” Its committed by entering a vehicle without effective consent, with intent to commit a Felony or theft. This offense is typically a Class A Misdemeanor. Conviction is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, and a fine not to exceed $4,000. A second offense is a State Jauil felony.. Conviction is punishable by 6 months to 2 years in State Jail, and a $10,000. See Section 30.04 of the Texas Penal Code, for Texas Burglary of a motor vehicle laws.
Changes for 2024 – Burglary of a Habitation
As previously noted, burglary usually punished as a 2nd degree felony in Texas. However, the new punishment enhances burglary to a 1st degree felony. This crime is punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life in pison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000 – IF – the premises is a habitation AND any party to the offense entered the habitation with the intent to commit a felony other than felony theft.
Translation: if someone breaks into another persons home, intending to commit – for example, aggravated assault, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery, or any number of other felonies within (except felony theft), then it becomes a 1st degree felony.
Changes for 2024 – Burglary of a Building
One of the new Texas Burglary laws relates to burglary of a building cases. The punishment is enhanced to a 3rd degree Felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in pison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000 – IF – the premises is a commercial building in which a controlled substance is generally stored, including a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, nursing facility, or warehouse AND the person entered or remained concealed in that building with intent to commit a theft of a controlled substance.
Translation: if someone breaks into pharmacy, intending to steal controlled substance medications, it becomes a 3rd degree felony. This makes it more serious than the punishment for a typical burglary of a building charge.
Burglary of a building can also be enhanced to a felony if commited during the course of committing human smuggling. Also, a third degree felony.
Changes for 2024 – Burglary of vehicles
Another new punishment provision that goes into effect is for Burglary of motor vehicle (burglary of vehicle, or “BMV”) cases. Those cases are enhanced to a 3rd degree Felony if certain conditions are met. IF the vehicle broken into or entered is owned or operated by a wholesale distributor of prescription drugs AND the actor breaks into or enters that vehicle with the intent to commit theft of a controlled substance; OR, it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor committed the offense in the course of committing an offense under Section 20.05(a)(2)(Smuggling of persons), it can be enhanced to a felony offense.
So, BMV is enhanced to a felony If you break into a vehicle operated by a prescription drug distributor. That is, if you break in intending to steal the drugs.
CHARGED WITH BURGLARY?
Burglary is prosecuted aggresively in Texas. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your freedom and make sure that justice is done.