Drug Abuse Leads to Burglary & Crime

January 2, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

As most Texas criminal defense lawyers will tell you, due to the high rate of persons who have fallen prey to the addiction of controlled substances, burglaries have reached unprecedented high numbers.

Desperate persons take chances that, in the past, few would attempt. They are desperate and will take anything they can hope to sell or pawn.

The burglar occasionally comes upon an occupant who happens to be home. At this point, the situation can easily escalate to one of life and death. The home’s occupant may attack the burglar, or even have a firearm. The opposite may be the case.

Because of such careless daring, more are also caught by local authorities and placed in jail.

Burglary & The Texas Criminal Justice System

In the State of Texas, burglary is technically defined as unlawful entry or hiding in any house or building with the intent to commit a felony, a theft of worse, an assault. This definition also includes home invasion. (TX. Stat. & Code Ann, §30.02) Burglary is then divided into two aspects:

Burglary is then divided into two aspects:

  • Burglary of any commercial building. This is any sort of building where there are no living quarters. This is considered a state felony.
  • Burglary of a home or building in which there are living quarters. This is considered a first-degree felony and includes home invasion.

The law isn’t always quite so simply stated. Other parts of the law that relate to burglary are the burglary of a vehicle (a misdemeanor). This refers to a vehicle that is not used as living quarters. House trailers and even vehicles that have been adapted for use as living quarters are considered habitations and the punishment may be the same as if the defendant unlawfully entered a home. In addition to these considerations, it should be noted that a second offense, etc. will normally influence the judge’s inclination to increase the severity of the penalty.

Criminal Defense Lawyers & Burglary Defense

If you have been charged with such a crime, you’ll need a Texas attorney for criminal cases like Jack B. Carroll to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have a strong defense. And the first thing the attorney will do is ascertain whether your case meets the two elements of the crime:

  1. Unlawful entry
  2. Intent to commit a theft, felony, or assault inside the structure.

These two parts must be proved in court beyond a reasonable doubt (or admitted by the defendant who may choose to confess).

Failing to meet these two essential requirements, the DA may have to settle for criminal trespass or perhaps something else, but not burglary. A common procedure for a DA to follow is to offer the accused a plea bargain.

In many cases, however, although a plea bargain may appear to be a good choice, it is not usually in the defendant’s best interest.

Often, failing to have enough evidence to proceed in court, a prosecutor may offer the defendant a plea bargain. In this situation, in exchange for a guilty plea, the defendant and the prosecution agree on a lesser punishment, This essentially closes the case and the DA can list it as a conviction. In reality, in the state of Texas, nearly all such cases are resolved by the two parties in a plea agreement. However, the plea bargain agreement is much more beneficial for the state than for the defendant.

Avoid Plea Bargains

Many innocent defendants choose a plea bargain, especially when they have no attorney to represent their best interests.

A plea bargain may reduce the possibly much more severe and frightening penalty (as threatened by the prosecution) and the plea bargain appears to be the best choice in a bad situation. In Houston, Austin, and other major cities in Texas, nearly all the criminals under lock and key, have accepted plea bargains.

The advantage for the defendant in taking a plea bargain is usually a reduced charge and sentence, and a closure of the case. Another attractive element the prosecution may point out is that a plea arrangement can reduce the attorney’s fees.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has the best of this exchange. The DA has all the bargaining power. He or she can decide on the form of punishment that may be offered, i.e. reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, etc. Another attractive alternative for the prosecutor is for the judge to deny bail. Then when the DA goes to the unhappy defendant behind bars and behind a threat of perhaps a very heavy sentence offers prisoner the choice of remaining behind bars for perhaps months before the case comes to trial against immediate freedom given upon pleading guilty and accepting the plea bargain.

Alone in jail, a defendant nearly always takes the easy route, even if he or she is completely innocent. This is another situation where the defendant needs an attorney to advise him/her and to represent the defendant’s best interest in negotiating a plea bargain or in deciding to go to court.

Another reason why the defendant needs the expertise of an attorney. Little is explained to the defendant and it is quite legal for the prosecution to lie to a defendant, implying that it has much more damning evidence than it may really have.

The defendant is offered two choices only: go to court somewhere down the line and face the uncertainty of many years in a state prison, or accept a plea and suffer a much lighter and shorter sentence and there will be no doubt as to the outcome.

Any sort of crime, especially a felony such as a burglary, cries out for the support and experienced help of an attorney. Often the defendant’s rights are not clearly spelled out and the defendant is left confused and frightened, not understanding what is happening while the prosecution makes threats it can’t really enforce).

When the defendant has an attorney, his/her rights and responsibilities will be clearly explained and the prosecutor knows he or she cannot bluff or lie to the attorney. And there is another possibility the defendant alone cannot use.

An attorney will examine the charges, the evidence and in many cases, he or she can convince the prosecution that since there is not enough evidence to get a sure-fire conviction, the DA should drop the case. Clearly, this is the best choice, but without the expertise of an attorney, it will never be on the table.

If you or anyone you know, finds him or herself in jail charged with burglary — guilty or innocent — the first and most important move for him or her to make is to call an attorney.

The Connection Between Drug Abuse & Crime

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Category: Crime & Law

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