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Facing a burglary charge in Georgia is a serious event that requires the expertise of a Georgia licensed criminal defense attorney. You cannot afford to take the risk of defending yourself or working with a criminal defense lawyer who has just received the license to practice in the Peach State.

The burglary legal specialists at Garland Law Group fight hard for clients that face burglary charges. Stress and anxiety often accompany the filing of serious criminal charges that include burglary. With a heavy burden, you need to alleviate the pressure of the prospect of facing jail time by working closely with a Georgia licensed criminal defense attorney.

Georgia’s Definition of Burglary

Georgia law that pertains to the criminal offense of burglary is found in state statute O.C.G.A. §16-7-1. The statute defines burglary to be the “breaking and entering into any structure with the intent to commit a felony therein.” Anyone charged with burglary in Georgia must express intent to commit the crime. The traditional definition of burglary was the breaking and entering of a structure during the night with the intent to perpetrate a felony while inside of the structure. However, Georgia has amended the traditional definition of burglary several times. To learn more about whether your charges constitute burglary, you should speak with a highly rated criminal defense lawyer who specializes in burglary cases.

Difference between First and Second Degree Burglary

Georgia has established two degrees of burglary. First degree burglary happens when a perpetrator “enters or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any building, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure for use as the dwelling of another without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.” Anyone convicted of a first-degree burglary charge faces jail time between one and 20 years, as well as a fine that is at the discretion of the presiding judge.

Second degree burglary charges are issued whenever someone “enters or remain in an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant building, structure, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or aircraft without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.” Punishment for second degree burglary charges is a prison sentence between one and eight years.

The Georgia definition of first and second degree burglary charges appears to be exactly the same. Yet, the biggest difference between the two burglary charges is the definition of “dwelling.” If the dwelling was a residence, then the state will issue first degree burglary charges. Otherwise, the state will issue the lesser charge of second-degree burglary.

Possible Burglary Defenses

The most compelling reason to work with the team of burglary lawyers at Garland Law Group is to form a strong defense against every criminal charge. Burglary charges typically produce a handful of effective defense tactics.

You are Innocent of All Charges

The fundamental and most effective defense in a burglary case is to prove the innocence of the defendant. Like other criminal trials, the prosecution must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We work hard for our clients by presenting evidence that plants the seeds of reasonable doubt into at least one of the juror’s mind.

Our effective strategy includes calling witnesses to the stand that will confirm your whereabouts during the crime, as well was present physical evidence that contradicts the evidence presented by the prosecution. Contradicting prosecution evidence and witnesses is typically more than enough to plant the seeds of reasonable doubt.

Permission to Come onto Private Property

One of the keys to winning a burglary case involves tearing down one or more elements that constitute the legal definition of burglary. Perhaps the most powerful element is entering private property, without the expressed permission of the property owner. Our team of burglary attorneys will try to prove the property owner granted you permission to enter the property, if the argument makes legal sense. Here is an example: A defendant enters a home where there is an “open house.” If the defendant steals something, it is not considered a burglary because the home was open to the public.

Lack of Intent

Let’s say you entered private property not with the intent to commit a burglary. However, once inside, you decided to take something of value with you. Since intent represents a vital element in proving a burglary case, we will argue you lacked intent to steal when you entered the private property. This is a complex defense strategy that only the most accomplished burglary lawyers can successfully argue.

Get the Best Burglary Representation

Our team of criminal defense attorneys that litigate burglary cases might discover the prosecution does not have enough evidence to get a conviction. You will not be able to use this defense if you fight the State of Georgia on your own or hire an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer. Read our online reviews and the testimonials left on our law firm’s website to learn why we are considered the best criminal defense law firm for litigating burglary cases.

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