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How do you get considered a habitual criminal and how many years can you get?

Fort Worth, TX |

My boyfriend has been to prison once for burglary of habitation,he recently went back too jail and they are trying to charge him with 2 burglary of habitations. Will he be considered as a habitual criminal?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. One prior enhances him one punishment level. So if his current burg habs are filed as second degrees, his punishment range is increased to 5-99. If they are filed as first degrees, his punishment range is increased to 15-99. It all depends on how he is indicted. His attorney will be able to review the indictments with him and tell him what he's looking at.

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  2. To become a habitual offender a defendant must have two prior consecutive pen trips for third degree felonies or higher. This means that he must have gone to prison, got paroled, and then picked up a new third degree felony or higher and sent back to prison. These pen trips must be final convictions that resulted in a trip to prison. If someone is sent to prison on shock probation and then returned to society and placed on probation, this does not count as an enhanceable pen trip. If someone is sent to prison on multiple felonies but the sentences run concurrently (together) this would only count as one pen trip for enhancement purposes. If someone is alleged to be a habitual offender, unless the penalty paragraphs are abandoned, the minimum sentence upon conviction for a new 3rd degree felony or higher is 25 years. If someone only has one prior final felony conviction that met the above noted factors they would still be enhanceable to one degree higher (for example an F2 would be enhanced to an F1) and the applicable punishment range would be applied. There are numerous variations of the above, but these are the nuts and bolts. The defendant must have notice that the State is seeking to enhance him. This can be shown on the information or indictment as is most common. As a former prosecutor, we frequently negotiated plea bargains by offering to abandon a penalty paragraph in exchange for a plea bargain. If your boyfriend is facing two burg habs, both can be enhanced if he has a valid prior. Either way your boyfriend needs to get an experienced criminal defense attorney ASAP. The best thing you can do for him is assist in finding a good attorney. His attorney will be able to explain this to him.


  3. You first need to find out exactly what he was convicted for. Under Texas Penal Code 30.02, he could have gotten a state jail felony if the crime was committed in a building other than a habitation, felony of the second degree if committed in a habitation and even a first degree felony if the premises are a habitation; and any party to the offense entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft.

    Each one will become a next level enhancement -with very severe penalties if it was two first degree felonies.

    This should not be construed as advice, only information and I recommend for any additional questions you seek the advice of experienced immigration legal counsel. The posting of a response in no way infers client - attorney relationship has been established.

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