Under state law, burglary is the act of unlawfully entering a home or another building with the intent to commit a felony. While this offense is largely thought of as a theft crime, any attempted felony could serve as the basis for a burglary charge. Because of the severity of this offense, it is important to retain a McDonough burglary lawyer immediately after you have been charged. One of our dedicated defense attorneys could help you avoid a conviction entirely and protect your rights during legal proceedings.
Breaking into any home, business, or building while intending to commit a felony qualifies as burglary under state law. While these cases often involve attempted theft charges, any attempted felony offense could lead to an arrest if it involves breaking and entering. As such, the guidance of a burglary attorney in McDonough could be invaluable regardless of the nature of the alleged underlying crime.
One of the most important factors for this offense involves the intent to commit the underlying crime. A person that breaks into a home or building only has to have the intention to commit a felony to be charged. This means that they could be guilty of burglary even if the underlying felony crime is never carried out. If an individual breaks into a home with the intent to commit a forcible felony, then the more serious offense of home invasion could be charged.
There are two categories of burglary offenses under state law. While the underlying elements of the crime are the same, each type faces a different penalty. First-degree burglary involves breaking and entering into a home or other dwelling. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person illegally enters a structure that is not a residence.
Each type of breaking and entering offense is considered a felony under state law. The maximum penalty that applies in each case will depend on the severity of the charge. An attorney in McDonough could build a defense against any of these burglary charges. For a first-degree burglary conviction, the defendant could face up to 20 years in prison. For a second-degree offense, the defendant could spend up to 5 years in prison.
There are other important factors that could impact these penalties. If the prosecution can show that the defendant committed a “smash and grab” burglary, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in jail and $100,000 in fines. A smash and grab burglary involves someone entering a business with the intent to commit theft while causing more than $500 in damage.
Prior convictions are also a key factor. A person with four or more convictions for burglary cannot have their sentence probated, deferred, withheld, or suspended. This results in a 25-year prison sentence.
If you have been charged with breaking and entering, you have the right to a strong defense. A skilled and dedicated attorney could be the difference between a conviction or an acquittal. Burglary cases are complex. Do not roll the dice on your defense by serving as your own attorney. Reach out to a McDonough burglary lawyer to discuss your legal options.
For more information on McDonough Burglary Lawyer In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (470) 728-1725 today.