The state of Texas has identified the crime of burglarizing a coin operated machine as a specific criminal offense. This means that the state has created a law that specifically targets this kind of crime. While Texas is the only state that currently has this kind of law on its books, the same activity is punished as a crime in other states under different types of laws.
The Texas law against burglary of coin operated machines includes a wide variety of devices that are commonly known as vending machines. These devices can operate on coins or paper currency, and they can provide either goods or services. For example, you can commit the crime of burglary of a coin-operated machine if you break into a vending machine in an attempt to try to steal candy. You can also commit this crime if you break into a coin operated scale in an attempt to obtain the money in the machine.
(Texas Penal Code section 30.03.)
When many people hear the word “burglary” they think it involves some sort of breaking and entering. This is not necessarily true. The Texas law specifically recognizes that any entry into a coin-operated machine can constitute a burglary. This means that you do not have to cause any damage in your attempt to get inside the vending machine, nor do you actually have to steal anything. For example, you can commit a burglary of a coin-operated machine if you take a sledgehammer and break the glass of a vending machine in an attempt to obtain its contents. You can also commit this crime if you take a coat hanger and use it to fish out the vending machine's contents without actually causing any damage.
It is not a crime to break or enter into a coin-operated machine if you have the consent of the owner. The Texas law specifically requires that you break into the device with out the owner's permission or consent. Also, the law requires that you break into the machine with the intent to obtain goods or services. It doesn't matter if you fail in your attempt to obtain those items, all that matters is that you acted with the intention to obtain them illegally.
Under Texas law, anyone convicted of burglary of a coin-operated machine faces some significant penalties. The crime is classified as a Class A misdemeanor offense, the most significant type of misdemeanor in Texas. In other states similar penalties may apply to the same type of crime, though these penalties may differ significantly from the Texas penalties.
Texas Penal Code section 12.21
The burglary of a coin-operated machine in Texas, or any other state, is a significant crime. If you are charged with this crime you need to find a qualified criminal defense attorney in your area. A local defense lawyer will know how to evaluate your case and provide you legal advice based on his or her experience both with the law, as well as with the local courts, police, and prosecutors.