Some people become the target of burglars and similar criminals because they live ostentatious lifestyles. If someone has a flashier car than the rest of the neighborhood or frequently throws out boxes for brand new electronics, people nearby may target that property.
Although burglary is often thought of as a snatch-and-grab operation that focuses on money or items that someone can quickly resell for money, like jewelry or electronics, those aren’t always the targets when one person breaks into another’s house.
If someone struggling with substance abuse breaks into someone else’s house or enters the property without permission to take prescription medication, that likely constitutes burglary as well.
Drug-related burglaries are common
Lawmakers and law enforcement officers recognize the connection between substance abuse and theft offenses like burglary. There are two ways that substance abuse can contribute to the number of Texas burglaries.
The first is how the expense involved in maintaining access to prohibited or controlled substances might push someone to steal to support their habit. Someone desperate for cash could be checking their neighbor’s trash for signs of recent big-ticket purchases, for example.
The second is by forcing people to seek their own inappropriate sources of medication, including their aging neighbors or someone they know was recently in a car crash. If a person with a chemical dependence issue knows that someone else has pain medication, especially if they think the person with the medicine doesn’t use it, they may feel like taking those pills isn’t a big problem.
However, the theft of prescription medication can easily lead to burglary charges even if the accused took nothing else of value.
Burglary is as much about illegal access as it is about theft
Most theft offenses have penalties assessed based on the value of the items taken. However, unsuccessful burglary attempts or one that only results in the taking of $50 worth of prescription medication could still result in significant charges.
For burglary and related crimes, it is as much the intentional trespassing as it is theft that leads to the charges. Being on someone else’s property illegally with the intention to commit a crime can lead to your arrest and prosecution. Understanding how the state defines different theft charges, including burglary, may help you plan a criminal defense strategy that mitigates potential penalties.