Burglary is the crime of breaking and entering into a structure with the intent of committing a crime thereafter. Automobile crimes are simply crimes that involve some type of vehicle. Texas has a law that allows a person to be charged with the burglary of a vehicle.

How Is the Burglary of a Vehicle Defined in Texas?

A person can be charged with burglary of a vehicle if they break into or enter into a vehicle with the intent to commit theft or a felony, such as stealing the car itself. Burglary of a vehicle also includes breaking and entering into any part of the vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft, such as breaking into the trunk in order to steal its contents.

What Does “Enter Into” Mean Regarding Burglarizing a Vehicle?

It means that the person uses any part of their body or a physical object connected to their body to enter into the vehicle.

Can I Be Charged with Breaking into a Vehicle If the Owner Gave Me Consent?

No. Breaking into a vehicle is not a crime if the person has the effective consent of the owner to do so.

Is This Charge a Misdemeanor in Texas?

Yes. It is classified as Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for such a crime may consist of:

  • Not more than one year in county jail
  • $4,000 fine
  • Both a fine and jail time

However, in certain situations, this misdemeanor charge can increase to a felony.

Does Burglarizing a Vehicle Have a Minimum Sentence?

Yes, it does. If a person has been found guilty of the misdemeanor version of this crime, the punishment will at least be a:

  • Minimum of six months in county jail
  • $4,000 fine

Can I Be Charged with a Felony for Burglary of a Vehicle?

Yes. If a person has already been convicted of burglarizing a vehicle more than once in the past, then the crime is a jail felony. It is also a felony if the vehicle that the person broke into is a rail car. A jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and/or a $10,000.

Should I Contact an Attorney for Help with My Case?

You will need legal representation if you are charged with burglarizing a vehicle in Texas. Contact a criminal attorney in Texas for legal representation for your case.