Penalties for Burglarizing a Vehicle in Texas

We’re all familiar with people burglarizing vehicles. Perhaps it’s even happened to you within your lifetime. If not, it’s probably happened to a friend or family member. Often, when people break into vehicles they are attempting to steal valuables, such as a purse, a smartphone, a laptop, or shopping bags filled with merchandise. Some people however, have broken into vehicles to steal something of little value, such as a jacket. Burglarizing a vehicle is a common juvenile crime, but it can be committed by virtually anyone who’s in need of fast cash. Often, cars are broken into in the middle of the night, when most people are sleeping and there are few witnesses.

What Does Texas Law Say?

Burglary of a vehicle is covered under Section 30.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under this section, you commit this offense if without the owner’s consent, you break into or enter a vehicle with the intention of committing any theft or a felony. Generally, an offense under Sec. 30.04 is a Class A misdemeanor; however, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum of six months in jail if the defendant was previously convicted of burglarizing a vehicle. Burglarizing a vehicle is a state jail felony under Section 30.04(d)(2) if the defendant has two or more prior convictions for burglarizing a vehicle, or the defendant broke into or entered into was not a motor vehicle, but a rail car.

Under Section 12.35 of the Texas Penal Code, a state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail, and possibly by a fine not to exceed $10,000. Were you accused of burglarizing a vehicle in Plano or Dallas? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to work with a top-rated defense team. Call today to get started.

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