Burglary in El Paso refers to the offense of entering or remaining in a building or habitation with the intent to commit a serious offense, including theft, assault, or felony. Entering can occur without actually breaking into the building. Any slight intrusion with a body part or using an object would amount to entering. Also, any such entry or remaining must be without the owner’s effective consent.
The City of El Paso recorded a total of 1,410 burglaries in 2016 alone. However, burglary occurrences in the city reduced to 1,048 in 2019.
Robbery and burglary offenses in El Paso differ based on their elements, classifications, and resulting punishments.
First, with respect to their elements, burglary on its part requires an unlawful entering or remaining in someone else's property. Meanwhile, entering or remaining is not an element of robbery. Similarly, while robbery includes the use of force or threat of it against another to commit a theft, a burglary charge does not require proof of force or threat used. While robbery requires proof of actual theft, an intent to commit the offense is enough for a burglary charge to be successful.
Finally, though both robbery and burglary are considered felonies, the minimum punishment for robbery is more serious than burglary. The minimum classification of burglary is a state jail felony punishable with up to two years in jail, while robbery is a second-degree felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison.
The City of El Paso experienced 338 robberies in 2019. 1,048 burglary occurrences were also recorded in the city within the same period.
With the assistance of a competent attorney, persons facing burglary charges in El Paso may be able to successfully rely on some applicable defenses to either dismiss or diminish the charge. These defenses include:
The punishment attached to burglary charges varies depending on the circumstance of the case. Below is the classification of burglary charges based on the degree of penalties:
Residential burglary in El Paso occurs when the building, structure, or vehicle burgled is one that is used for overnight accommodation. This is referred to as burglary of habitation under Texas law. On the other hand, commercial burglary becomes a separate charge when such a building contains controlled substances. Burglary of a habitation is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. In contrast, burglary of a commercial building with the intent to obtain a controlled substance is considered a third-degree felony that attracts imprisonment of up to ten years, including fines.