Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Burglary Reported in Georgia Neighborhood

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

Resident of a Buckhead apartment complex, Stacy Atwood, was at home on Friday night when she noticed the back door was wide open. When she went to inspect the situation, she saw a man with a gun. He told Atwood that he had been watching her for weeks, put the gun to her head, and told her that if she looked at his face, he would shoot her in the head. 

He then proceeded to take several different valuable items and told her to count to ten. Then he left her home.

As an Atlanta Criminal Attorney, I will expand on the law behind burglary in Georgia because that is the base crime that has been committed.

Burglary in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines First-Degree Burglary as:

When, without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein, he or she enters or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure designed for use as the dwelling of another.O.C.G.A. §16-7-1.  

Therefore, according to Georgia Law, if a person enters into someone else's home, without their consent and with the intent to commit a felony or a theft, then he to she is committing first-degree burglary. 

In order to be found guilty of first-degree burglary, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person entered a house or some other structure that is someone's dwelling. On top of that, the State must also prove that the accused person had the intention to commit a felony after entering the dwelling. 

Practice Note

As an Atlanta Criminal Lawyer, there are some things I will clarify about burglary in general and the two different degrees of burglary. 

Burglary does not mean only theft - a person does not need to either commit or attempt to commit a theft. It is unlawful in Georgia to enter the dwelling house of another without consent or authority with the intent to commit any felony. This can include armed robbery in Georgia, rape in Georgia, etc.

Also, the legal difference between first-degree and second-degree burglary is that the structure itself has to be designed for use as the dwelling of another with first-degree burglary. For second-degree burglary, the statute is identical, however, the crime includes entering any structure, without authority, intending to commit a felony or theft therein. 

Both degrees of burglary are classified as felonies in Georgia. If convicted of committing burglary in Georgia, the penalty can include imprisonment of one to twenty years.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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