Burglary of a Building

If You Have Been Charged with Burglary of a Building in San Antonio and Bexar County

Texas law defines burglary as having the following elements present:

  • Unauthorized breaking or entry
  • into a building or an occupied structure
  • with the intent to commit a crime while inside

Burglary of a building is a serious charge and will normally be prosecuted as a second-degree felony. Upon conviction, a defendant can face 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In some instances, if a felony is committed after entry into the building, the charge could be elevated to a first-degree felony with a penalty that could include 5 to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Defending against burglary charges

Derek W. Emmons is an experienced burglary defense attorney who can employ several possible strategies to preserve your freedom if you have been charged with this type of crime.

The most basic of these is that you are actually innocent of the crime. Because a prosecutor has to prove the crime took place beyond a reasonable doubt, by introducing evidence that undercuts the prosecution’s case, it may be possible to convince the court that the defendant did not commit the crime in question. This may take place by presenting an alibi or creating doubt regarding forensic evidence that may have been introduced.

Another possible defense strategy is to admit that the defendant engaged in behavior as charged by the prosecution, but that one or more of the elements necessary was not present. Defendants argue in many cases that they thought they had the owner’s permission to be on the property, thus creating no unauthorized entry. Other possible strategies can include that the defendant was placed under duress and was forced to participate in the burglary or face the threat of physical harm in some form.

Finally, a defendant can claim that they were entrapped into committing the burglary by being convinced to commit the crime when they would have not done so otherwise. This type of defense is difficult to prove but can be successful when the right circumstances are present.

The Law Office of Derek W. Emmons serves clients in San Antonio and surrounding Texas communities.