Burglary Habitation

Burglary Habitation | Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney

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 when the person has intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.

How is Burglary of a Habitation Defined in Texas?

Pursuant to Texas Penal Code 30.02,  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 for Burglary of a Habitation in Texas?

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

Entry into a Habitation

Under Texas law, “entry into a habitation” occurs if any part of an individual’s body entered the habitation or any physical object connected to the individual entered the habitation. In other words, it is possible to be charged with burglary of a habitation without actually setting foot inside the home.

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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.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese
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