In general, burglary is defined as the breaking and entering into a structure for the purpose of committing another criminal act. Burglary is usually connected with homes and buildings. In Texas, a person can be charged with burglarizing a coin-collection or coin-operated machine.
How Is Burglary of Coin-Operated or Coin Collection Machine Defined in Texas?
A person commits this type of burglary if they:
- Do not have the effective consent of the owner,
- Break or enter into any type of coin-collection machine or coin-operated machine, and
- The machine is used for the purpose of selling goods, selling services, providing lawful amusement, telecommunications, or any other value
What Does “Entry” Refer to in a Breaking and Entering Crime in Texas?
The term “enter” refers to any type entry that occurs as long as the owner has not provided an effective form of consent to said entry.
Is This the Same Charge as Burglarizing a Building?
No. This burglary charge only pertains to coin machines. Texas has a separate law focused exclusively on charging those accused breaking and entering into a habitation or building with intent to commit a felony crime.
Are There Any Defenses to Burglarizing a Coin Machine?
Yes. There are some criminal defenses to burglarizing a coin machine, including:
- Actual innocence
- Consent of the owner
Is Burglarizing a Coin-Operated Machine a Felony?
No. The burglary of a coin-operated machine is a misdemeanor.
What Is the Punishment for Burglarizing a Coin-Operated Machine?
In Texas, a conviction for burglarizing a coin-operated machine may carry the punishment of:
- Not more than one year in county jail
- $4,000 fine
- Both a $4,000 fine and jail time
Should I Talk to a Lawyer Regarding Breaking into a Coin Machine?
If you are charged with burglarizing a coin machine in Texas, in your best interest to seek legal counsel. A Texas criminal lawyer will explain the law and all possible defenses available to you to fight your misdemeanor coin collection charge in Texas.