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Defending Burglary Charges

A conviction for some Burglary offenses will violate immigration laws as a “crime involving moral turpitude” or “aggravated felony” offense.  Court opinions change the law on this every day. STERN Law has the expertise to successfully defend your criminal case and immigration status.

Many young people have spent significant time in jail or prison for the mistake of entering another person’s home, or because they chose to hang out with others who decide to break into homes or businesses.  Burglary carries harsh penalties  – especially if a person has a prior burglary conviction. A Judge will routinely make an example out of the Accused in order for the community to see that he is tough on crime and will not tolerate the violation of our homes.  Depending on the situation, a burglary conviction can carry a mandatory minimum sentence without the possibility of parole.

Burglary charges require a careful defense.  Mistaken identification is common in burglary cases; therefore, police procedures, reports, scientific studies, witness statements and evidence must be closely investigated.

Burglary

GA Code § 16-7-1 (2016)

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Dwelling” means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is designed or intended for occupancy for residential use.

(2) “Railroad car” shall also include trailers on flatcars, containers on flatcars, trailers on railroad property, or containers on railroad property.

(b) A person commits the offense of burglary in the first 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 dwelling house of another or any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure designed for use as the dwelling of another. 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.

(c) 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, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or aircraft. 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.

(d) Upon a fourth and all subsequent convictions for a crime of burglary in any degree, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

Smash and Grab Burglary

GA Code § 16-7-2 (2016)

(a) As used in this Code section, the term “retail establishment” means an establishment that sells goods or merchandise from a fixed location for direct consumption by a purchaser and includes establishments that prepare and sell meals or other edible products either for carry out or service within the establishment.

(b) A person commits the offense of smash and grab burglary when he or she intentionally and without authority enters a retail establishment with the intent to commit a theft and causes damage in excess of $500.00 to such establishment without the owner’s consent.

(c) A person convicted of smash and grab burglary shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than 20 years, by a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both; provided, however, that upon a second or subsequent conviction, he or she shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years, by a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both.

STERN Law has the expertise to successfully defend your criminal case and immigration status.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.

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