Burglary Defense

Burglary is oftentimes confused with home invasion or various robbery charges. Burglary, however, is much more of a theft crime than a violent crime whereas home invasion and robberies are more violent in nature. In Georgia, there are two levels of burglary: 1st Degree and 2nd Degree. 

What is First Degree Burglary?

First degree burglary occurs when, a person without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein, a person enters or stays in an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure designed for use as the dwelling of another.

There is an important word here worth taking a closer look at: dwelling. A Dwelling is any building, structure, or portion thereof which is designed or intended for occupancy for residential use. Many times, lawyers on opposite sides of a burglary case end up fighting over whether or not something is a dwelling.

Example of First Degree Burglary

Johnny is walking down the street in a residential neighborhood. As he is walking he spots what he believes is a nice Rolex (although its a knock off worth only $25) through a window. The watch is sitting on a countertop and Johnny can see it through the stranger's window. Johnny, therefore, decides to see if he can make away with the watch. So he approaches the front door, determines it is unlocked and lets himself in. Once inside he makes his way to the watch and leaves the home with it. 

Let's apply the first degree burglary law to the facts in this example. Johnny certainly did not have permission to enter the stranger's home, therefore, he has entered a dwelling without permission. Additionally, he entered the home intending to steal the watch. So, he entered a dwelling without authority with the intent to commit a theft which means he has committed a first degree burglary. 

Penalties for First Degree Burglary

For a first conviction a person who commits the offense of burglary in the first degree shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.

Upon the second conviction for burglary in the first degree, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than 20 years.

Upon the third and all subsequent convictions for burglary in the first degree, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 25 years.

Upon a fourth conviction if you are sentenced to serve time, then the entire sentence must be served in prison. In other words, you can't get probation, a suspended sentence or an alternative like that. 

What is Second Degree Burglary?

A person commits the offense of burglary in the second degree when, without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein, he or she enters or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant building, structure, railroad car, watercraft, or aircraft.

Example of Second Degree Burglary

Randy hears from a friend (who lives in Macon, Georgia) that a building in Newnan, GA may have some old copper wire in it. Neither Randy nor his friend own the building or have permission to be there. Copper is hot on the market and this is a quick way for the two of them to make a few bucks. So, Randy goes to the building one night and breaks in, pulls the wire, and takes the copper to the scrap yard. 

Let's apply the Georgia burglary law to the facts at hand. Randy did not have permission to enter this building and he entered the building to steal the copper wire. Thus, a second degree burglary occurred. 

Penalties for Second Degree Burglary

For a first conviction a person who commits the offense of burglary in the second degree shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

Upon the second and all subsequent convictions for burglary in the second degree, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than eight years.

Contact Your Newnan Criminal Defense Lawyer

Based in Newnan, GA we are prepared to meet your needs throughout the state of Georgia. Contact us today, set up a consultation with Ryan and let's get started preparing your defense. 

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Ryan Brown is ready to begin defending you and your rights today. The best defense is one that begins as early as possible. Prosecutors don't take days off and neither should you. Let us get started. Call today for a free consultation.

Serving the Following Areas

Ryan Brown represents clients throughout the state. He primarily serves the following counties: Coweta, Carroll, Heard, Meriwether, Troup, Douglas, Haralson, Cobb, Paulding, Floyd, Fayette, Henry, Macon-Bibb, Fulton, Muscogee, Monroe, Polk, Spalding, Pike, Lamar, Upson, Butts, Walton, Newton, and Rockdale.

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This website if for general informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. Each situation, case, and legal matter is unique and requires custom legal advice. Nothing communicated on this website or through this website constitutes an attorney-client privilege.

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