What is Burglary of a Habitation in Texas?

Most people think burglary is just breaking into a home.When most people hear the words “burglary of a habitation” they think of someone breaking into a home. The definition of burglary in Texas is far broader and includes any entry into a home where the person had the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.

How is Burglary of a Habitation Defined in Texas?

Pursuant to Penal Code 30.02, in Texas a person commits burglary of a habitation if they enter or remain concealed within a habitation with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, or once inside if they actually commit or attempt to commit a felony, theft, or assault.

What is the punishment or Burglary of a Habitation in Texas?

Burglary of a Habitation is generally a second-degree felony carrying a punishment range of 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, Burglary of a Habitation can become a first degree offense if the felony that was attempted, committed, or attempted was a felony other than theft. The punishment range for a first degree felony is 5 years to 99 years or life and up to a $10,000 fine.

Entry into a Habitation

Under Texas law, it is sufficient that any part of the accused’s body entered the habitation or any physical object connected to the accused entered the habitation. In other words, it is possible to be charged with burglary of a habitation without actually setting foot inside the home.

What is a Habitation?

A “habitation” means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:

  • each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and
  • each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Burglary?

According to Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01, the statute of limitations for Burglary of a Habitation (where the felony intended, attempted or committed was not sexual assault of a child) in Texas is five years.

What is the average punishment range for Burglary of a Habitation?

burglary of a habitation

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Penal Code 30.02

(a)  A person commits the offense of burglary 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.