Is burglary the same as theft or robbery? Burglary is a crime that is somewhat misunderstood. Some believe it is just taking something that belongs to someone else, but the truth is, it may not have to do with taking anything. Burglary actually refers to one’s intent when he or she enters a property. The nature of this type of crime is what raises it to a felony level offense according to Georgia laws.
There are three different types of burglary recognized under state laws. These are first degree, second degree, and smash and grab. What is the difference?
If one is charged with first degree burglary, it means that he or she is accused of going into a home or other dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. If one is charged with a second degree burglary, it means that he or she is accused of entering a property other than a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. Finally, if one is charged with a smash and grab burglary, it means that he or she is accused of purposely entering a place of business with the intent to take money or other goods and causes property damage in the process.
Each form of burglary, as previously stated, is a felony and punishable by imprisonment. A conviction on a first degree charge may result in a prison term of up to 20 years. With a second degree burglary charge, the maximum prison sentence is five years. Finally, with smash and grab, imprisonment of up to 20 years and hefty fines may be imposed.
Burglary is not something taken lightly by the state. The punishments for a felony offense such as this are severe and can have life-changing effects on someone convicted of the offense. Thankfully various defense strategies may be available to help one fight his or her case in a Georgia criminal court. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to review the details of one’s case and then take the actions necessary to assist the accused in seeking the best outcome possible.
Source: FindLaw, “Georgia Burglary Laws“, Accessed on May 9, 2017