Burglary of Motor Vehicles
Car break-ins are extremely common and difficult to prove without an eyewitness or finding the stolen property. Thousands go uninvestigated every year. When police do arrest someone for burglary of a motor vehicle, they may be doing so based on assumptions versus evidence. It is our role to question each of the prosecution’s assumptions and present your defense.
Georgetown Burglary of a Motor Vehicle Lawyer
Price & Twine, PLLC is committed to each of our clients and will vigorously defend burglary charges that can lead to serious consequences for your criminal record and employment opportunities. Do not speak to police about your property crime case and do not assume a charge is a conviction.
You have options, and with a call to (512) 354-1880, attorney Michael J. Price can advise you of your best strategies for defense. Price & Twine, PLLC has a practice area ranging across Williamson County, including the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Taylor and Hutto.
Information of Auto Burglary Charges
- Burglary of a Motor Vehicle Charges in Texas Law
- Penalties for Breaking Into a Vehicle
- Defenses to Auto Burglary
Burglary of a Motor Vehicle Charges in Texas Law
An unwelcome entrance into a motor vehicle by a person’s body (or an object they are holding) with the intent to commit a felony or theft is considered burglary of a motor vehicle. The burglary charge pertains equally to an unlocked vehicle that is entered, even if property damage through “breaking & entering” did not occur.
Prosecutors must positively identify the defendant as the intruder. Additionally, the intent to commit a theft must be shown. The jury may infer from circumstances that a defendant intended to commit a felony or theft when they entered the vehicle and property does not have to be stolen in order to prove this intent.
Physical evidence such as blood or fingerprints may be used to identify the intruder. It is best not to submit to offering a DNA or fingerprint sample to law enforcement without their first obtaining a search warrant.
Penalties for Breaking Into a Vehicle
If convicted of a burglary of a motor vehicle, a first-time offender may be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000. If the defendant has a clean prior record, the defense attorney will seek deferred adjudication or probation. Both options would require completion of community supervision for a period of time in lieu of jail time.
If this is a second conviction, the sentence is a class A misdemeanor, however, the state imposes a six-month mandatory minimum jail term.
With two or more convictions for motor vehicle burglary, the defendant will be convicted of a state jail felony. A felony offense is also accompanied by the loss of certain civil rights, financial aid, state licenses, and job opportunities.
Defenses to Auto Burglary
The prosecution must positively show that the defendant entered the vehicle. We will explore your alibi to place you out of the area at the time of the offense. Physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, or clothing traces may be presented but should be questioned aggressively. Eyewitnesses may also place the defendant at the crime scene, however, eyewitness testimony is not fail proof, especially if the offense was committed at nighttime with difficult visibility.
For a guilty verdict, the prosecution must also show the defendant did not have effective consent to enter the vehicle from the owner. In other words, if the owner of the vehicle or a person that the defendant reasonably believed to be legally authorized to act for the owner gives permission to enter the vehicle, the defendant must be found not guilty.
The prosecution must also show the defendant had the intent to commit a felony or theft. Finding stolen property in the possession of the defendant is strong evidence of theft, but it may be shown the defendant received the stolen property unknowingly. The intent to commit a theft or felony may be inferred from circumstantial evidence even if there is no actual theft or felony committed.
Seasoned Defense Lawyer for Burglary of a Motor Vehicle in Williamson County
Every burglary case is unique. To learn what your next best step is, call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free consultation with the Georgetown criminal defense attorneys at Price & Twine, PLLC.
Michael J. Price has defended a wide array of cases and knows that each one boils down to hard work and the facts on the ground. If you are facing the charge of burglary of a motor vehicle in Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Taylor, or Hutto, call Michael J. Price today.