black gavel

It’s a common belief that stealing is a petty crime, as it is often associated with teenagers looking to rebel against authority by shoplifting or taking items that do not belong to them. As such, many people are unaware of the differences between burglary, theft, and robbery, assuming they are all interchangeable. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, these charges are very intense and can lead to jail time. If you’ve been charged with this offense, it’s necessary to understand whether or not burglary is a felony in Georgia. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate these charges.

What Warrants a Burglary Charge?

Burglary is charged to any individual who breaks into and enters a structure without permission of the owner with intent to commit a felony or theft. These structures include buildings, homes, vehicles, and even aircrafts.

Traditionally, to be charged with burglary, you had to break into a house at night. However, Georgia, like many states, has removed the stipulations that the structure must be a home and the crime must occur at night. Now, anyone who breaks into and enters any structure at any time of the day can face burglary charges.

Does Georgia Consider Burglary a Felony?

If you are charged with burglary, the severity of your charge will depend on the circumstances of your case. However, these are generally deemed a felony, regardless of whether your charge is burglary in the first or second degree.

Burglary in the second degree is charged to those who enter an unoccupied structure with intent to commit a felony, while first-degree is charged to those who enter an occupied dwelling. You can face one to eight years for a second-degree conviction, while a first-degree conviction warrants a sentence of one to twenty years.

However, the sentence can increase depending on the crime you intend to commit while within the structure.

Are There Any Potential Defenses?

When charged with burglary, it’s necessary to understand whether or not there are any defenses you can rely on.

Generally, the state must prove you had intent to commit a crime while breaking and entering. If they cannot prove this, the defense may not be strong enough to garner a conviction. Additionally, you may be able to prove you had consent from the owner to enter the structure and that consent was never explicitly revoked. As such, you would not have known you were not permitted to be in the structure.

If you are charged with burglary in Georgia, you should not try to face these charges alone. The dedicated team at the Miller Law Practice, LLC is ready to help represent you. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why we are committed to exploring all possible avenues to help you achieve the best possible outcome for the circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.