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How long can a first time offender serve for a burglary of habitation charge?

Houston, TX |

I have a friend who was arrested for burglary of habitation and this is his first offense. He says that he was just in the vehicle with the individuals that actually committed the crime and had nothing to do with it. My question is, will he be charged just as they are? At the time, he is the only suspect in custody. Could they charge with the entire crime if no one else is arrested? He has already hired a lawyer. Please help me!!!

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Attorney answers 3


He is charged with the entire crime, regardless of whether anyone else is ever charged. And, to obtain a conviction, they must prove more than he just was in the vehicle & had nothing to do with it.

He could get from probation to 20 years in prison.

Cynthia Henley


Your friend should consult with his lawyer. In Texas he could be facing up to 10 years probation or 2 to 20 years in prison. Texas has what's called the law of parties. Under the law of parties, everyone who assists in a crime can be charged with whatever crimes anyone else commits. For example the driver of a getaway vehicle can be charged with shooting a store clerk even if they never leave the vehicle.
Austin Jail Release and Burglary Lawyer

My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for a full consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. For more answers based on my 19 years of experience visit my website,


If your friend's lawyer could not answer these questions, your friend needs a new lawyer. Whether your friend will be (or has been) charged will depend on the factual information provided by the police to the DA, regardless of whether it is true or accurate.. Your friend can be convicted of burglary if he committed the offense himself or was a "party" to another's commission of the offense. A person is a party to the offense if "acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense." Your friend may be prosecuted regardless of whether anyone else is or 10 other people are prosecuted. Each person is viewed separately from every other person.


W. Troy McKinney
Schneider & McKinney, P.C.
440 Louisiana
Suite 800
Houston, Texas 77002
713-224-6008 (fax)
Board Certified in Criminal Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Board Certified in DWI Defense, National College for DUI Defense (NCDD)
NCDD Certification Program Approved by the American Bar Association
and Accredited by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Dean -- National College for DUI Defense

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