Criminal Trespass, Burglary, and Larceny Defined


Criminal Trespass, Burglary, and Larceny Defined

In the State of Texas, criminal trespass, burglary, and larceny are often lumped together, but there are substantial legal differences that are worth understanding. In a nutshell, criminal trespass relates to entering or remaining on a property when you are aware of the fact that you are not welcome; burglary relates to trespassing with the intention of committing a crime in the process, and larceny relates to stealing someone else’s property. Let’s take a closer look.

A Charge of Criminal Trespass or Burglary

If you face a charge of criminal trespass, it means you are accused of entering the property in question – or remaining on the property in question – when you knew you were not wanted or welcomed there (by the property owner or manager). If you face a charge of burglary, however, the state is alleging that you intended to commit one of the following crimes during the course of the alleged trespassing incident:

  • Commit a felony

  • Commit theft

  • Assault someone

The charge of burglary can stand even if you do not follow through with the alleged criminal intention. The burden of proving your intentions as they relate to the burglary charge rests firmly with the prosecution. If the prosecutor cannot prove your alleged criminal intentions beyond a reasonable doubt, he or she will be reduced to bringing the criminal trespass charge only. Criminal trespassing charges are misdemeanors, while burglary charges can range from misdemeanors to first-degree felony charges (in extreme situations). Whatever kind of charge you face, however, bringing your most robust defense is paramount.


If you face a charge of larceny, the prosecution alleges that you stole someone else’s property during an unlawful entry (criminal trespassing). Larceny relates to intentionally depriving someone else of property that he or she owns. It is worth noting that you could also face a larceny charge if you are alleged to have eschewed the reasonable measures necessary to help prevent the acquisition of property that was stolen by someone else. Much like burglary charges, larceny charges can range from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. The charge levied is generally predicated on the value of the allegedly stolen property in question. Any one of these charges – criminal trespass, burglary, or larceny – can enhance the severity of any other charges levied.

You Need an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side

No matter what kind of criminal charge or charges you are facing, bringing a solid defense is critical to your social standing, your employment opportunities, your future prospects, and much more. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a well-established criminal defense attorney who is committed to wielding the full force of his experience in defense of your legal rights and in support of your case’s most favorable outcome. You deserve a robust defense, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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