If you’ve been arrested for burglary, you could be facing serious jail time. In Texas, burglary is a second degree felony, with a penalty range that includes
from 2 to 20 years in the state penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine. If it is alleged that the burglary was committed in the attempt to perpetrate another felony (e.g., sexual assault), it is a first degree felony, in which case you could be facing life in prison. An offense is committed, once any of your body parts, or items under your control, enters the dwelling. For example, the man in the above picture is guilty of burglary, simply because the object he is using to pry open the door has entered the house. If it could be proved that he is entering the house with the intent to commit an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against one of the home’s occupants (e.g., his desire is to hit someone with the object in his hand), he could be facing life in prison.
In Texas, burglary of a habitation is governed by the following statute:
Texas Penal Code, Section 30.02. BURGLARY. (a) 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.
(b) For purposes of this section, “enter” means to intrude:
(1) any part of the body; or
(2) any physical object connected with the body.
(c) Except as provided in Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a:
(1) state jail felony if committed in a building other than a habitation; or
(2) felony of the second degree if committed in a habitation.
(d) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if:
(1) the premises are a habitation; and
(2) any party to the offense entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.