Atlanta Burglary Lawyer

Burglary charges can incur severe criminal penalties and leave you with a permanent criminal record if convicted. While burglary is typically charged as a theft offense, this crime could occur any time a person breaks into a home, car, or other property with the intention of committing a felony. As a felony level offense, long prison sentences are possible for anyone charged with this crime.

If you are facing burglary charges, an experienced Atlanta burglary lawyer can defend you in and out of court and ensure that your constitutional rights are protected.

Burglary Charges in Atlanta

Burglary is a property crime under state law. The act of burglary involves breaking into a home, public building, car, office, or any other structure with the intent to commit a felony within that structure. Intent to commit any felony will suffice to establish a burglary charge. It is not required that the person charged with burglary is successful in committing the intended felony, only that the person broke into the property and was planning to commit it.

Actual entrance into the property is not always necessary. Any instrument or tool that breaks into a property can lead to criminal charges, meaning a defendant’s actual body does not need to cross the threshold of a property to be charged with burglary. Because of this charge’s many nuances, it could be crucial that any person accused of this crime consult an experienced burglary attorney in the area for help with their case.

Degrees of Burglary Under State Law

There are several forms of burglary under Georgia law, each with their own unique penalties that may result from a conviction.

  • First Degree Burglary: When a suspect enters a home, vehicle, both, or other structure used as a dwelling with intent to commit a crime. A possible prison sentence of up to twenty years may result, depending on if previous offenses apply.
  • Second Degree Burglary: When a structure is entered with intent to commit a felony, but the structure is not used as a dwelling. The offense can carry up to five years in prison.
  • Smash and Grab Burglary: Different and defined more specifically than other forms of burglary, this occurs when a suspect breaks into a retail establishment and causes more than $500 in damages. Depending on the unique facts of the case, a twenty-year prison sentence is possible, along with a fine of up to $100,000.

Each form of burglary listed here is serious. Felony offenses can mean lengthy prison sentences, high fines, and life-long designation as a “felon.” This can affect a person’s right to vote, right to bear arms, and affect a person’s ability to get a job.

Defenses Against Burglary Charges

Every defendant deserves a strong defense that fits the unique facts of their case. Common defenses to burglary crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenging the intent to commit a felony element
  • File a suppression motion to exclude unconstitutionally collected evidence
  • Prove that reasonable doubt exists in the case
  • Negotiate a plea to a lesser charge
  • Demonstrate that the structure was not used as a dwelling

Many more defenses exist, and a knowledgeable burglary defense attorney could determine what defenses will work best in each case.

Consult a Burglary Attorney in Atlanta Today

No matter the facts of your case, you deserve to have competent, driven representation fighting for your constitutional rights. An Atlanta burglary attorney could work diligently to minimize or dismiss your charges and help you avoid the serious penalties often levied for this offense. Contact our firm today to learn more about your legal options.