What Is The Difference Between First Degree And Second Degree Burglary?
In Texas, burglary charges are classified into different degrees. Each degree carries distinct legal consequences while the overarching category of burglary refers to unauthorized entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime.
When facing burglary charges, it is important to understand the difference between first degree and second degree burglary as they vary in severity. To protect your legal rights and learn about possible defenses following a Texas burglary arrest, connect with a Houston criminal lawyer.
Defining Factors of First Degree and Second Degree Burglary
First degree burglary in Texas is the most serious form of burglary. A first degree charge involves a person entering a habitation without consent and doing so with the intent to commit a felony, assault, or theft. This is a felony charge that carries severe legal consequences.
If you are convicted of first degree burglary, you could be facing imprisonment for a term of five to ninety-nine years. Additionally, you will be responsible for substantial fines. What penalty you could receive will depend on factors such as if weapons were present or if a victim sustained bodily injury.
While less severe than first degree burglary, second degree burglary is still a serious charge. If you were to enter a building, other than a habitation where someone lives, with the intent to commit a felony, assault, or theft, you could face second degree burglary charges, which is also considered a felony. But the penalties are generally less severe than those for first degree burglary, with convicted parties facing imprisonment for a term ranging from two to twenty years and fines. Similar to first degree burglary offenses, aggravating factors, including weapons and injuries, will lead to enhanced penalties.
So, essentially, the primary distinction between first degree and second degree burglary lies in the type of structure entered. First degree burglary involves entering a habitation and second degree burglary encompasses other buildings. The severity of the penalties for first degree burglary are higher as they reflect the increased threat of entering someone’s home without consent.
Talk to a Seasoned Defense Lawyer
Connecting with Houston criminal lawyers as soon as you believe you will be charged is important as there are a range of details to assess, including whether a person accused of burglary will be charged with a first or second degree offense. In Texas, the difference between first degree and second degree burglary lies in the structure entered and the severity of the potential penalties. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can assess the specific circumstances of your case and build a strong defense.
Could you use legal support after a burglary accusation? Understanding exactly what you are being accused of and the distinctions between different types of offenses is essential to pursuing the best possible outcome. There are legal professionals who can support you throughout the process, speak to the legal team at Ayson Law Firm about your specific cases so a path forward can be determined. Contact us today for a free consultation.