Burglary of a Car Is Distinct from Other Burglary Charges

man driving car

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Every burglary charge in Texas is a serious charge. Further, cars and other motor vehicles are very common targets for thieves. After all, they tend to be left unattended, are easy to get into, and often contain valuables that are left in plain sight. Breaking into a car in the State of Texas is a theft charge – but a specific kind of theft charge.

The Burglary of a Motor Vehicle in Texas vs. Burglary

While every burglary charge in Texas involves breaking and entering, the penalties you face for a conviction of burglary of a motor vehicle are unique to the charge. Consider the definition of burglary, which involves entering a home or building (or any portion of either) without the owner or occupant’s permission and with the intention of committing a felony theft or assault. Burglary of a motor vehicle, on the other hand, involves breaking into a car or another motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or operator and with the intention of committing a theft or another felony. A fine distinction that must be considered is that if the vehicle is set up for occupancy – such as an RV or motorhome – the charge remains burglary (not burglary of a motor vehicle). Whatever kind of burglary charge you face, you owe it to yourself and to your future to work closely with an experienced Round Rock criminal lawyer.

The Charge

A burglary charge in Texas is, at a minimum, a state jail felony, which can be elevated to a first-degree or second-degree felony if the building in question is someone’s home and the intention is to commit a felony other than theft, such as assaulting an occupant of the home. In contrast, burglary of a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor, but there are exceptions involved. If you have two or more prior convictions for burglary of a motor vehicle or if the vehicle in question is a railcar, the charge may be elevated to a state jail felony.

It Gets More Complicated from Here

When it comes to a charge of burglary of a motor vehicle, all of the following apply:

  • You can be charged even if you do not break a window or pick a lock. In fact, the car does not have to be locked in the first place.

  • You can be charged even if you do not fully enter the car. Simply reaching in with your arm or with a tool, such as a crowbar or coat hanger, will suffice.

  • You can be charged even if you do not actually steal anything. The prosecution’s job is simply to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to commit a crime.

Discuss Your Charge with an Experienced Round Rock Criminal Lawyer Today

If you are facing a burglary of a motor vehicle charge, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Round Rock, Texas, is a resourceful criminal lawyer who is committed to helping you obtain your best possible case resolution. To learn more, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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