What is “Burglary of Habitation?”

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It’s not fun to talk about, but one of the main reasons to have a home security system is to prevent burglaries. In 2022 alone, more than 650K burglaries occurred throughout the United States. Understanding the law in terms of theft versus burglary is often important when pursuing cases in a court of law and can help with pushing for harsher judgments or repayment of stolen goods.

We have previously discussed the definitions of second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, and how they may differ legally in different states. For example, within Texas, traditional burglary is often referred to as “burglary of habitation.”

What is Burglary of Habitation?

Burglary of Habitation is a specific law that is common throughout Texas and refers to any incident in which an individual unlawfully enters a "habitation” without permission. Habitation is defined as being a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons and their connected structures. This is unique and differs from trespassing, which is defined as simply occupying any property without authorization.

Burglary of Habitation states that:

  • An individual has entered the premise unlawfully (whether it is a home or place of business).

  • An individual may or may not have participated in stealing (also legally defined as “theft”).

  • An individual did not have prior permission to enter said premise but did so anyway.

  • An individual has entered a home or place of business that is occupied or at some point, is occupied by other persons.

  • There is intent, an attempt, or a felony, theft, or assault was committed.

Is Burglary of Habitation a Law in Other States Throughout the Country?

While the specific phrase “burglary of habitation” is not commonly utilized in other states throughout the United States, burglary is, in many ways, an identical charge that is recognized. In all other states throughout the U.S., “burglary of habitation” is simplified through the charges of “burglary” or “theft” (depending on what has taken place once a location has been burglarized or entered unlawfully).

In many instances in the state of Texas, “burglary of habitation” carries similar punishments for those caught burglarizing as traditional burglary charges in other states. Depending on the type of property being burglarized, punishment is considered a second-degree felony, which is punishable by a sentence ranging between two- and twenty-years prison sentence and a fine of $10,000.

Protecting Your Home from Potential Thieves and Burglars

While hefty penalties for burglary of habitation might appear effective in deterring criminals, the reality is that most offenders tend to choose targets where the risk of getting caught is minimal. By implementing specific precautions to safeguard your home against covert intrusion, you significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to such crimes.

Different property types are at increased risk for burglary of habitation, including vacant houses, neighborhoods that have a slower police response, such as those in rural areas, and homes which are perceived as having high theft value.

Regardless of the community you currently live in, you may be concerned about the overall safety and security of your home . Consider installing a smart home security system with cameras.

With the right security cameras, DVR systems, and assistance available from a 24/7 professional monitoring company, adding protection to your home has never been easier.

Security cameras and systems prominently displayed both indoors and outside of a property are capable of drastically deterring potential thieves and burglars from committing a crime or targeting your home or place of business.

When a burglar is looking to enter a property with ill intent, they often start by “casing” a location. This affords them a chance when seeking an opportunity where they are less likely to find themselves getting caught or confronted by homeowners. They will especially maneuver away from homeowners with a security system actively in place, as they do not want to draw attention.

When browsing for a new security camera or entire system, consider ease of use, the features available, and whether the system itself fits you and your family’s long-term needs. For example, starting with a camera by itself may seem convenient at first, but if it isn’t compatible with other equipment and software you may use in the future, it will be frustrating to have that device separate from everything else.

Furthermore, professional installation should be a strong consideration, as your line of sight will be equally important to the zones that trigger motion detection. Receiving too many, or too few, notifications about relevant events on your property can leave you discouraged as to the usefulness of your new security equipment.

Are you ready to take the next steps necessary to find the perfect monitored home security system? Brinks Home ™ can help get you and your household on the right track today! Call us now to speak with a Security Consultant who will provide you with the best options available.

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