The Texas Burglary of Vehicles law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you broke into or entered someone else’s vehicle without their consent for the purpose of stealing something or committing any felony.
FAQs about the
Burglary of Vehicles law in Texas
- What is the current Texas law about Burglary of Vehicles?
- How can I be charged with a Burglary of Vehicles offense in Texas?
- What is the statute of limitation for Burglary of Vehicles in Texas?
- What is the penalty for a Texas Burglary of Vehicles offense?
- Can you get probation for Burglary of Vehicles in Texas?
- What level of crime is Burglary of Vehicles in Texas?
The state’s lawyers will also have to prove that you intended to commit a theft or a felony when you entered the vehicle in order to convict you of Burglary of Vehicles.
Have you been charged with Burglary of Vehicles? Book a consultation to discuss legal representation with attorneys Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis today.
In 2017, the Texas legislature added a third degree felony enhancement for cases where the person is accused of breaking into a vehicle owned by a prescription drug distributor with the intent of stealing drugs. Learn more about the 2017 changes below.
The Penal Code codifies the Texas Burglary of Vehicles law under Title 7 “Offense Against Property,” Chapter 30 “Burglary And Criminal Trespass.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Burglary of Vehicles below.
The current Texas law defines the offense of Burglary of Vehicles in Penal Code Section §30.04 as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, he breaks into or enters a vehicle or any part of a vehicle with intent to commit any felony or theft.
You can be charged with Burglary of Vehicles in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 30.04(a) as described in the section above have been met.
A conviction for Burglary of Vehicles in Texas is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to 1 year, unless one of the enhancements below applies.
If the state’s attorneys can prove that you have been convicted once before for this offense, then a conviction for Burglary of Vehicles in Texas is punished as a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum jail term of 6 months.
If the state’s attorneys can prove that you have been convicted two or more times or that the vehicle broken into is a rail car, then the conviction for Burglary of Vehicles in Texas is punished as a State Jail Felony, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.
Interestingly, the statute considers deferred adjudication pleas to be convictions for enhancement purposes.
Legislative Changes in 2017
In 2017, the legislature passed a bill that now allows the state to seek an enhancement to a third degree felony by alleging that the vehicle broken into or entered was owned or operated by a wholesale distributor of prescription drugs and the accused entered that vehicle with the intent to commit theft of a controlled substance.
Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.
Yes, both judges and juries may grant probation for Burglary of Vehicles offenses. However, the minimum period of community supervision for this offense, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum term of confinement of six months, is one year.
The Penal Code classifies the punishment for Burglary of Vehicles as a Class A misdemeanor, state jail felony, or third degree felony, depending on the circumstances.
Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.
^1. Texas Penal Code §30.04. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^3. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^4. Texas Penal Code §30.04(d)^5. Texas Penal Code §30.04(d)(1)^6. Texas Penal Code §30.04(d)(2)^7. Texas Penal Code §30.04(d-1)^8. Penal Code §30.04(d)(3), as enacted by HB 1178, 85th Legislature (RS)^9. Art. 42A.057, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure