Houston Robbery & Burglary Defense Lawyer
At The Law Offices of David A. Breston, our Houston burglary lawyers have represented over 4,000 criminal cases and have more than two decades of experience defending against robbery and burglary charges. From the moment you place a call to our office, we will aggressively advocate for your rights. We take your time and testimony seriously. To schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney, contact David Breston today.
What is the Difference Between Burglary & Robbery?
Burglary is a crime where severity of punishment varies from state to state. In the state of Texas, a person commits burglary if he or she:
- Enters a building not open to the public with the intent to commit theft, assault, or another felony.
- Remains concealed in a building not open to the public with the intent to commit assault, theft, or a felony.
- Is caught on the premises after receiving notice that entrance was forbidden.
It is important to note that there is no requirement for forced entry for a burglary to occur. Simply trespassing through an open door may constitute burglary. For example, if you walk into someone’s unlocked boathouse and take their boat out, you are still committing burglary, even if you return the boat in its original condition.
According to Texas law (Penal Code Chapter 29), a person commits the crime of robbery if, in the course of committing theft and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he or she:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
It is an aggravated robbery offense if a person commits robbery, and he or she:
- causes serious bodily injury to another;
- uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
- causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
- 65 years of age or older; or
- a disabled person.
Being Charged With Burglary in Harris County
If you are facing criminal charges for burglary or robbery, it can be hard to know where you stand. In general, both burglary and robbery are classified in Texas as second degree felonies (or a first degree felony, if it is aggravated robbery or burglary with intent to commit another felony). Criminal trespassing, on the other hand, is generally tried as a misdemeanor. Burglary and robbery can carry severe consequences, including jail time from 2 to 20 years and fines up to $10,000. When you are facing these types of charges, it is important to do the following:
- Exercise your right to remain silent. If you are arrested, never give a statement to police without a defense lawyer present. The police are trained to investigate crimes by gathering evidence against you, so it is imperative to have legal counsel by your side to advise you. Too often, people mistakenly convict themselves by giving the police a confession. While it is important to be respectful and compliant, do not give out too much information.
- Retain the services of a qualified legal team as soon as possible. A good criminal defense lawyer will advise you on what questions to answer, and when you should keep silent.
How Our Lawyers Defend Burglary Cases
The first step in building your defense is to hear your side of the story. Once we have an accurate picture of your version of events, we begin to create a narrative that provides reasonable doubt.
In criminal cases, it is important to remember that the burden of proof is on the accuser. In fact, the prosecution must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the acts in question. One of the more common ways to defend a robbery case is to examine holes in the prosecution’s story. As such, we will thoroughly examine police procedures and evidence. If the police did not abide by the law while questioning you or did not log evidence properly, it can be inadmissible in court.
Our burglary attorneys will also review affirmative defenses, which assert that you may have committed the acts in question, but they do not constitute a crime. For example, if you were intoxicated at the time of the burglary, we may argue that you lacked the ability to have intentionally committed the crime.
Enlisting an Experienced Houston Robbery Defense Attorney
No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, we know how important it is for you to be informed. That is why we are committed to communicating every aspect of your case with you, without unfamiliar legal terminology. You will have all of the information you need to make informed decisions. Call our criminal law firm at (713) 224-4040 today for your free initial consultation.