An Effective Defense Against Burglary And Theft Crimes
From shoplifting to armed robbery, Texas has a broad definition of crimes involving property. At Clarissa Fernandez Pratt, Attorney at Law, our attorneys handle a full range of theft and burglary charges. We will fight your charges and attempt to mitigate any penalties you may face. Theft cases can include many different elements that the prosecution must prove. Our lawyers will defend you against each one.
Theft, Burglary And Robbery: What Is The Difference?
Many people confuse the charges of burglary, theft and robbery, but they are different offenses under Texas law. Here is a brief overview:
- Theft – Theft can include any action involving taking something that belongs to another person and includes everything from shoplifting to auto theft. Charges can range from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies and largely depend upon the value of the item stolen.
- Burglary – The law defines burglary as entering a home or building uninvited with the intent or an attempt to commit a felony, theft or assault. Note that you do not have to steal anything to be charged with burglary. You also do not have to have your entire body in the building. For example, reaching in through an open window and taking something qualifies as burglary.
- Robbery – Robbery is considered a violent crime because it involves taking property directly from another person in their presence and either causing bodily injury or threatening them with bodily injury. This is already a felony-level crime, but causing actual bodily harm or using a weapon will increase the offense to aggravated robbery and increase the penalties. For example, a carjacking using a weapon would be an aggravated robbery.
These are the general categories of offenses. They each have specific charges that are more well-defined by type and penalties.
Common Types Of Theft And Burglary Charges
Here are some of the more common types of charges our firm handles and their penalties:
- Auto theft and carjacking, also known as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
- Aggravated robbery
- Identity theft, including computer and internet crimes and fraud charges
If you do not see your specific charge listed, that does not mean our attorneys cannot help you. Contact us to discuss your case in a free consultation to find out more.
Penalties vary greatly and depend on many factors, including whether you are a juvenile or this is your first offense. Low-level theft like shoplifting a small item is likely a misdemeanor, though you could still face jail time. Burglary and aggravated robbery can be violent crimes that include first-degree felony charges, depending on the circumstances. You may even face identity theft and other fraud charges in federal court.