What is Considered Burglary in Georgia?

The crime of burglary tends to be associated with theft or robbery. However, it is important to know that these are all different types of property crimes. They differ depending on how the crime was committed. The crime of burglary requires a person to unlawfully enter into a home or business with the intent to commit a crime inside. There are different laws in place regarding this crime that distinguishes three forms: first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, and “smash and grab” burglary.

First and Second-Degree Burglary

In the state of Georgia, there are different elements that constitute first-degree burglary. This can include entering or remaining in an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any other dwelling structure. There must also be an intent to commit a felony or theft inside. These elements also apply to second-degree burglary. However, this type of crime applies to structures that are not used as dwellings. 

Burglary in the first degree is a felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Burglary in the second degree is also a felony but is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. 

Smash and Grab Burglary

Smash and grab burglary is a crime against businesses. It requires that a person meet three different criteria. This includes the intent to enter a retail establishment, commit a theft, and cause damages in excess of $500. This type of burglary is a felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison as well as $100,000 in fines. 

Defenses Against Burglary Charges

When a person is charged with committing burglary, it is important that they retain the services of an attorney. These charges are considered felonies and can result in serious consequences. An experienced attorney can provide the individual with the proper defense to help their case. This can include the following defenses:

  • Age (a person under the age of 13 cannot be found guilty of a crime)
  • Mental capacity
  • Intoxication
  • Mistake of fact
  • The conduct was justified or excused by the situation

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