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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3699
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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TEXAS college student accused of burglary

Resolved Question:

I'm in Texas and my roommate(A) is accusing my roommate(B) and I of burglary of a habitat. To explain the situation; Roommate A owe's me a large amount of money which I don't believe she will ever pay back. She has been promising VIA text that she will leave the rent and utilities on the counter for me, she's been saying this for over a week now. She promised to leave $700 on the counter by Sunday to pay for her debts (which is less than what she owes me) and that she would be moved out by Sunday. On Thursday, I went out to bible study and shortly after getting there, my mom called me and told me my uncle passed away. I had to leave to be with my family. So I went straight home ( a different town). Roommate B said that night that Roommate A didn't leave rent, which didn't surprise me. And when she came home, she came in with 2 guys and got ready and went out to the bar. She came back home wasted with a guy, threw up in the kitchen and in the sink. (She addmitted this in the police report but failed to include the info about the guy, falsifying the police report) She ordered pizza and they did what they planned to do (sexually) and then they passed out. The next morning my roommate B woke up due to the sound of the door chime on the alarm (sounds when the door is opened) and went into the kitchen and realized it was the guy who had been over leaving in the early morning hours and there was $700 on the counter, she called me and i told her to take it because it's the rent she's been promising to give me for a week.(Via text, she says she will leave $700 on the counter) She saw Roommate A passed out on the couch overly exposed with her bedroom door wide open. She then got ready and went home for the holiday and deposited the money into my bank account. I went back to the apartment at about 10 to find the deadbolt locked so i left to get lunch with a friend and came back about 12 and went inside then slept almost all day because I had a long night with the death of my uncle and my family. I woke up to several text messages of her accusing me of breaking into her room and stealing her money, she also threatens to "flip my world upside down" and I calmly tell her I didn't steal it, roommate B assumed that it was the money she had been promising for so long. The police were called and they took a report, which the officer KNOWS that the bedroom door was wide open, that she was extremely drunk and admits to passing out and throwing up however she didn't admit to the guys that had all been over and she claims that she remembers the money being in her room because she ordered pizza and it was there when she got home from the bar at 2:15/2:30. I honestly did not burglarize her room, I wasn't even in town. My roommate took the money from the counter because I asked her to, because I didn't want there to be any more conflict about rent and any more late fees affecting my account or credit. Today I over heard her in the living room with a friend saying that the money was actually intended for me but she got invited to a concert and then needed the money. That's why she was so "pissed". Any advice? Will there be a conviction? Is this even a case? I've been in touch with a police officer who seems to believe that this is only a civil matter and there actually isn't a case here for burglary. PLEASE HELP. I am a pre med college student and I am FREAKING OUT. This is my whole future here.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Customer:

Okay, thank you

TexLawyer :

Regarding the $700 on the counter, the roommate left it for you, correct?

Customer:

Via text message she promised for several days that she would leave it, and then when it was there I assumed it was for me, yes. I do believe her intentions were to leave it for me.

Customer:

I have images of the texts from the iphone with her number showing, not her name if you'd like to see them.

TexLawyer :

First off, this can't be a burglary since you had the right to be in the residence. In that sense, burglary is not an option.

Customer:

What about burglary of habitat?

Customer:

The police officer said that it was labeled as that.

TexLawyer :

It can't be a burglary if you had the right to be there. In other words, you can't burglarize your own residence or a residence to which you had legal access. Burglary is a breaking and entering + theft.

Customer:

Okay I see. So what am i in danger of legally?

TexLawyer :

Second, in order to be guilty of ANY crime, you must have the intent to commit the crime.

Customer:

Okay, so at this point myself nor my roommate (B) are in no danger of being suspects in crime?

TexLawyer :

For example, if there were two identical phones sitting next to each other, and you picked up one thinking it was yours, but it turned out to be someone else's, you did not commit a theft since you did not have the intent to take something that was not yours.

Customer:

Roommate A, lied again today saying she spoke with the county investigator and the police officer that took our police reports. I called to do a follow up and the officer said she hadn't called and the investigator was closed today because they work for the county.

Customer:

Ohh okay I see

Customer:

so with the text messages, if there was any legal action, I have proof that my intentions were true to be , that I thought it was mine

TexLawyer :

Likewise, here, even if you did take the money, you did not have the intent to take something that's not yours. At the time, you had the belief that the money was intended for you.

TexLawyer :

Yes.

TexLawyer :

My guess is that this goes nowhere.

Customer:

Okay,

Customer:

and

Customer:

What kind of evidence do they need? because honestly, because you're a lawyer I would tell you if I had intentions to steal or if my roommate did, but I'm telling you the truth, there was no intent, I have texts upon several texts where she promises me to leave the money on the counter. The officer asked her if she was drunk, she admitted, and he said drunk people do crazy things and so on, and she said she didn't leave me money out, but he said her statement was invalid because she admitted she was inebriated. Is this true? Also--

Customer:

because of pure fear, because I know the money was intended for me, but I'm in school to be a doctor, I'm scared to death that this, my name even being in a POLICE REPORT will affect my future, I negotiated with the officer that I would pay her the money back in increments by Monday and then get the money she owed me from small claims court, she then said today if I didn't get it all to her by 5:30 today she would press the charges for burglary. Is this possible? For the officer to "hold the report" and not enter it until she decides she wants him to? And is there really a case here? I

TexLawyer :

A statement can still be used in court, even if the person was inebriated when it was given. That is not correct. However, it does drastically damage her credibility, which is obviously important for the police making a case.

TexLawyer :

The fact that your name is XXXXX XXXXX police report is not significant. Nobody would even have a reason to read that report.

TexLawyer :

The officer won't hold a report. He'll write it and file it, just as he would do any other report.

Customer:

But with the texts, and the fact that she was drunk, do I owe her money? Should I pay her? Or is it rightfully mine with the texts, etc and is this a crime

Customer:

Right, but when I called the office today,the PD said that only one report was entered in a civil case not criminal and it was a roommate dispute

TexLawyer :

Based on what you've said, there has been no crime committed. What you decide to do from here is very much your decision to make.

TexLawyer :

I think that is reasonable. Clearly, the police see that there is not a crime here.

Customer:

Okay, so I don't owe her money, and I didn't commit a crime by allowing my roommate to take it because we believed it was the money she'd been promising to pay

Customer:

Correct?

TexLawyer :

Yes,

TexLawyer :

Correct.

TexLawyer :

Intent is the key.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your help. Is there anything else I should keep in mind when I speak to the police about this?

TexLawyer :

No, just remind them that you have the text messages and explain the situation to them the same way you have to me.

TexLawyer :

Everything should be fine. The police are not out to make bad arrests.

Customer:

Okay, thank you so much I appreciate it ! :) Have a good night

Customer:

This is true, thank you so much :)

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

Customer:

?How do I say that I was satisfied and will pay you for the answer

TexLawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer before you go.

TexLawyer :

There is a set of faces that are used to "rate" the answer.

Customer:

In your mind, do you see any reason in me giving her the money back? She clearly has owed it to me.

Customer:

Would it be illegal to keep it now that she has said it isn't her intention to have paid it to me.

Customer:

?**

TexLawyer :

If she agreed to pay you that money, no, I don't see a reason. What matters is the intent at the time you took it. In other words, she can't leave it, have you pick it up, and then change her mind a day later.

Customer:

I see. Because I don't have proof of what she said to her friend but she did tell her "That money was for rent but when I woke up i got your texts about the concert and needed it to buy stuff and I was going to pick up more shifts and just pay her back this week"

Customer:

I'm not sure if that's relevant

Customer:

And is my roommate (B) in any danger of crime because she's the person who actually took it from the counter?

TexLawyer :

No. Again, it goes to intent.

TexLawyer :

The roommate never had the intent to take something that was not hers.

Customer:

Well, she believed it was MINE, but I was on the phone with her and told her to pick it up and deposit it to my bank account because I didn't know when i'd be back in town and I needed to pay rent.

Customer:

Is that an issue? Because the money was believed to be MINE

TexLawyer :

No, that is not an issue.

Customer:

Neither I or my roommate can be arrested for this situation, correct?

Customer:

roommate (B)

TexLawyer :

Based on what you've told me, no. Again, there has been no crime committed.

Customer:

okay, thank you so much. I'm satisfied.

Customer:

:)

TexLawyer :

Glad to help. If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "rate" my answer.

Customer:

I will. Thanks :)

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3699
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
Chris T., JD and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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