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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27196
Experience:  Lawyer
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My neighbor stole furniture from my covered porch. I have this

Customer Question

My neighbor stole furniture from my covered porch. I have this on video.
My porch has 4 beams on the far side that are main supports. If they failed it would make the house and roof cave in.
I have video that she steal from me, and they want to charge her with only theft.
But shouldn't this be able to be upgraded to Burglary of a habitation?
The porch is connected to my house as I tried to describe above. It HAD furniture, and the porch is about 20 feet long by 8 feed wide. It has 4 sides, but it is not screened in.
They are giving me a day to prove to them that "other structure" equals a porch, as stated in 30.01.
Can anyone help me with a case study, or statue of some sort?
Thank you very much in advance.
I am in Texas by the way.
Also I warned her via text message days before to not stop foot on my property, and I have a no trespassing sign. To avoid this she sent her 20year old son to my house and witnessed him commit this crime. I have all of that on video. I want more than just theft I want Burglary of a habitation or something...Please help if possible..Thank you
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I tried to simplify it above, am attaching a word document of what actually happened and the video links.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened. Texas Penal Code, Section 30.02 states that burglary is committed when someone:(1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or(2) remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or(3) enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault. Habitation and building are both defined in Section 30.01:(1) "Habitation" means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:(A) each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and(B) each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.(2) "Building" means any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation or for some purpose of trade, manufacture, ornament, or use. I'm not sure where you're getting that "other structures" language, but you don't need it. Your house is clearly a habitation. And the attached porch is indisputably "appurtenant to or connected with" your house. And your neighbor should be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and theft. You may want to print that statute and show it to them, because it seems very clear that your porch is covered by the burglary statute. You should also be aware that, at the end of the day, it's the district attorney who charges someone, not the police. The district attorney can read the police report alleging theft, say "Wait a minute, that's his house?" and amend the charges to burglary. This is pretty common and does not violate double jeopardy when done at any time before the trial begins.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
In Luckett v. State, the defendant was convicted of burglary of a building by removing an air-conditioner of a screened porch. He was charged with burglary of a building rather than a habitation because the property wasn't occupied, but the fact that he only entered the porch was still enough to sustain a conviction.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I do agree with you all the way! Let me ask some questions regarding the case you provided.
In that case he was inside an enclosed porch. My porch is not enclosed. However my porch is not just an over hang roof, yet it is accessible from 3 sides, but does contain main building supports. The 4th side is accessible but that is my front door side.Were you able to look at the document I provided, it has the video of the porch, and the video of them coming on to my property.Also do you know of another case that someone just comes onto a porch that is not enclosed steals and leave and were successfully charged with burglary of a habitat or building?This website clearly says porches are included, however the detectives want more than a website.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
That is unfortunately the closest case I could find. The problem is, to find a reported case, someone has to have been convicted of burglary for entering a porch and appealed on the basis that a porch is not connected to a house. Trial court opinions are usually not reported. But since the definition of habitation CLEARLY include porches, it doesn't make sense for someone to appeal on that basis. Which means it's difficult to find cases. I also found that website, but I didn't post it because I didn't think the police would find it terribly persuasive.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well would it be possible to where you can write this up in a way I can try to present this to the detective more effectively than me?
I suppose I am running out of options, the attached file I added earlier is what I sent the police. They only reacted with a theft charge so far...
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My main goals are to get them with more than just theft.
I would like to see all of them charged, is there a way to do that?
I tried to express that with my email to them, but I am not getting anywhere at the moment. I just want more justice done than a class B misdemeanor
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
I'm unfortunately not allowed to type up a document that you might rely on - that would be providing legal advice. We're only able to give information here. You're free to repeat what I said, and you may want to print out the statute because, in my mind, there's no room for interpretation. The beams of your porch hold up the roof of your house. How can they claim it's not attached? You can tell police and the district attorney that you'd like to see everyone involved charged. Or you could ask to talk to a superior officer about your situation. They have a lot of discretion, though, when deciding what to do. You don't have any ability as a private citizen to COMPEL them to charge them.

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