DeKalb County Burglary Lawyer 

An accusation of breaking into someone’s house and stealing their belongings can lead to serious criminal charges and lasting consequences. Both burglary and attempted burglary charges are prosecuted harshly in local courts, and a conviction could result in steep fines and lengthy prison sentences. The severity of these charges could make it essential to work with a seasoned DeKalb County burglary lawyer who could protect your rights by mounting a powerful defense.

Definition of Burglary in DeKalb County

The state recognizes three types of burglary, each of which features different penalties. First degree burglary occurs when someone “enters or remains in” an unoccupied, occupied, or vacant dwelling, such as a single-family home, townhouse, or apartment. A  charge in the first degree also requires the intent to commit theft or another felony while inside the dwelling.

The same actions apply to second degree burglary charges. However, the affected buildings do not have to be dwellings in order for these charges to be levied. “Smash and grab” burglary makes up the third category and refers to the burglary of businesses. To be accused of this offense, an individual must enter a commercial building with the intention of committing theft and steal property worth $500 or more.

First degree burglary is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Second degree and smash and grab burglaries are punishable to up to five and 20 years in prison, respectively. Smash and grab convictions can also result in up to $100,000 in fines. A skilled DeKalb County lawyer could build a compelling case for a person accused of any of these specific burglary offenses.

If a defendant has four or more burglary convictions on their record, their sentence cannot be probated, deferred, withheld, or suspended.

Common Defense Strategies in Breaking & Entering Cases

A DeKalb County burglary attorney could use several different defenses to cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument in court, including:

  • Mental incapacity: The defendant was not of sound mind at the time of the incident or does not have the mental abilities to understand the severity of the crime.
  • Age: Individuals under age 13 are exempt from felony charges.
  • Intoxication: Severe intoxication could provide a viable defense if the defendant blacked out and was unaware of their actions. This defense can also be used to argue that the defendant mistakenly broke into another person’s property because they thought it was their own. The latter defense is known as “mistake of fact.”
  • Justified conduct: If the defendant entered a person’s home unlawfully for justifiable reasons, such as to rescue a child suffering from abuse, it is unlikely they will face felony charges.

If a conviction seems likely, an attorney could request a plea bargain to negotiate favorable terms on the defendant’s behalf. However, if the defendant is completely innocent of all charges, they could fight hard to get the case dismissed.

A DeKalb County Burglary Attorney Today Could Be Your Advocate

If you have accused of breaking and entering, now is the time to enlist professional help. A DeKalb County burglary lawyer could examine all the facts of your case and guide you through every step of the legal process. Do not hesitate to reach out. Call today to set up a consultation and get started on your defense.