Any allegation in which a person is accused of theft or burglary in Georgia will be serious. There is a litany of penalties that can be assessed for a person who was convicted on these charges.
Understanding how burglary is categorized in the first and second-degree is important as it is critical to the defense. Often, these cases involve young people who might have been under the impression that what they are doing is not serious. The consequences can have a lasting impact on their lives. Finding a solution to these issues frequently requires legal advice for anyone of any age.
There will be a charge of first-degree burglary if a person enters a dwelling, a building, vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or other location and does so intending to commit a felony or theft without authority from the person who owns it or someone in charge of the property. When there is a conviction on these charges, there can be a jail sentence of at least one year and up to 20 years. For a second conviction for first-degree burglary, it will be a felony and there can be two to 20 years in jail. For third and subsequent convictions, it will be a felony and can result in five to 25 years in jail.
The charges for second-degree burglary will be the same except for the person not entering a structure that is used as a dwelling. This too is a felony. If there is a conviction of second-degree burglary, there can be one to five years in jail. For second and subsequent convictions on second-degree burglary, there can be one to eight years in jail.
For those who are convicted of a fourth and subsequent conviction for burglary regardless of its degree, there can be no suspension, probation, deferment or withholding of the penalties.
While the term “burglary” might be understood in general, many might not know when they can be confronted with these charges. They might have been doing something they did not realize would lead to severe charges and the accompanying penalties, but suddenly find themselves facing jail time and worse.
To avoid these consequences, it is wise to have legal advice from a law firm that is experienced in theft, burglary and related charges to try and seek a favorable result whether that is a plea bargain or an outright acquittal.