Burglary of an Automobile (also referred to as burglary of a motor vehicle) falls under its own section of the Texas Penal Code, Sec. 30.04, but is quite similar to other burglaries. To charge and convict a person of Burglary of an Automobile, the State must prove: (1) knowing or intentional breaking or entry into, (2) any part of a vehicle, with (3) the intent to commit any felony or a theft. Entry includes physically placing any part of the body or object connected with the body inside a vehicle.
Most Burglary of an Automobile cases will be classified as a Class A Misdemeanor with a range of punishment of up to 1 year in county jail and up to a $4,000 fine. However, the range of punishment can be modified under several scenarios. With one prior conviction for the same offense, the minimum term of confinement is enhanced to six months. The offense can also be enhanced to a State Jail Felony with two prior convictions for the same offense. One feature which makes Burglary of an Automobile unique is that, by statute, any previous case resolved with deferred adjudication probation can be treated as a conviction for enhancement purposes.
Many Burglary of an Automobile cases depend upon circumstantial evidence. For instance, it is not uncommon for a Burglary of an Automobile case to be based upon pawn tickets which were traced back to the defendant. Circumstantial evidence is legally sufficient evidence for a jury to convict a defendant. However, many circumstantial cases leave room to mount a successful defenses.
Even when a case fails to present viable legal or factual defenses, favorable outcomes can still be attained through strategic legal representation and negotiation. Contact our office today to discuss how to begin approaching your Burglary of an Automobile case.