Author Topic: Theft vs. Burglary  (Read 2979 times)

Dirks44

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Theft vs. Burglary
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:11:00 PM »
How exactly is a "theft" different from a "burglary" under the law?  In the information provided by Texas Law Shield,  I notice that burglary during the daytime is a justifiable reason to be able to use deadly force, but not theft (theft at night is a different matter, it seems).  It seems as though you are losing property either way. Is it that burglary occurs only inside a residence (business, vehicle), or are other factors involved?  Can a "theft" become a "burglary" if certain conditions are present?  An example of each might be useful, if you have the time.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 11:28:51 AM »
Dirks44,

Thank you for the question. You are correct in that you may only use deadly force against theft occurring during the nighttime, and that you are able to use deadly force against burglary at any time of the day.

It then becomes a very pertinent question what the difference is between the two. Burglary is removing property from your residence. Note that this does not apply to unattached garages and the like.  Theft is taking property that not inside the residence and not on your person (taking property from you person is considered robbery).

So, for example. burglary would be breaking down your door and taking your TV. Theft would be taking a pink lawn flamingo out of your front yard and running off with it, or stealing your lawnmower out of your unattached garage.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

Jjbhtx

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 06:23:30 PM »
This topic brings me to ask what is legally considered a detached garage.  When in chl class the question came up that if the detached garage is connected via a roofed walkway.  Therefore, in a sense it is indeed a "connected/attached" garage.  The other topic covered was that deadly force for theft during the daytime would be legal if the thief had in hand an item worth $1500 or more.

An example scenario. It is daytime and a thief burglarizes my unattached but "connected" via walkway garage and attempts to steal my car. Would deadly force be justified? Would it matter if the garage door were open or closed?

Thanks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 09:20:59 AM »
Jjbhtx,

A garage that is attached to your home via a roofed walkway/breeze way is considered to be attached to your home (which would, in turn, then become protected under the castle doctrine). To clarify, you may not use deadly force against theft during the day time, regardless of the value of the item. In this situation, however, they are committing a burglary, as they are entering a building with the intent to commit a felony / theft therein (as compared to just plain theft). Additionally, there is a crime described as “burglary of a vehicle,” which is also arguably burglary. Texas allows you to defend against burglary with deadly force if you reasonably believe that the land or property cannot be protected by any other means, or the use of force other than deadly force to protect the property would expose you (or another) to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Preferably your garage door is closed, as you would be able to argue both the unlawful and forced entry into the garage (which is harder to argue if your garage is wide open) AND the burglary of the vehicle.

Thank you for your question.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »