Hall County authorities are on the lookout for two men who allegedly broke into a home, pistol-whipped one of the residents, forced a second resident to open a safe located inside the home, and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The suspects are depicted as middle-aged men. There may have been a third suspect that acted as a getaway driver.
If these suspects are caught, they will possibly be facing the following charges…
Let's analyze the reported act of the two men breaking into the home in Hall County.
“A person commits the offense of burglary in the first degree 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.
If a person enters into someone else's home without their consent or authority with the intent to commit a felony or a theft, then he is committing first degree burglary - much how the suspects allegedly broke into the Hall County residence with the intent to rob the home. There are some requirements to be convicted of first degree burglary. First, you have to enter into a dwelling house, building, vehicle, or other structure. This structure can be occupied or unoccupied. Second, you have to have the intent to commit a felony. Most people believe that the felony is limited to theft. However, you can be convicted of burglary if you had the intention of kidnapping, raping, or assaulting another person. You don't actually have to take anything to be convicted of first degree burglary. The difference between first degree and second degree burglary is that the structure has to be designed for use as the dwelling of another. In second degree burglary, it's the act of entering into any structure with the intent to commit a felony. Both degrees are considered felonies in Georgia. If you are found guilty of first degree burglary, you will receive a sentence of one to twenty years of imprisonment.
Now let's analyze how the two suspects allegedly pistol-whipped the victim.
“A person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof.” O.C.G.A. §16-5-24.
If someone strikes another with a weapon or a dangerous object, they are guilty of aggravated battery. However, the victim must have an injury that is relatively severe. A disfigurement as stated above in the statute does not have to be permanent, but it can't be merely visible or superficial. In this case, the facts that the suspects were reported as pistol-whipping the victim in the side of the head and that he suffered a laceration to his temple is sufficient. They used a weapon, and there was a disfigurement of the victim. If you are found guilty of aggravated battery, you will receive a sentence of one to twenty years of imprisonment. The aggravated battery charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the consideration of the judge. The judge will look at the evidence about the circumstances, the extent of the injuries received by the victim, the relationship between the victim and the suspect, and more. However, we should note that using a deadly weapon is generally considered as a felony.
And finally, let's analyze the reported theft.
“A person commits the offense of armed robbery when, with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device have the appearance of such weapon.” O.C.G.A. §16-8-41.
As reported, the two suspects not only robbed the house, but they allegedly used a pistol in the commission of the theft. An offense weapon includes any instrumentality or object that is “likely to produce death or great bodily injury depending on the manner and means of their use.” Eady v. State, 182 Ga. App. 293 (1987). If you are convicted of armed robbery in Georgia, you're looking at some serious consequences. Common penalties include life sentences, ten to twenty years imprisonment, and even the death penalty.
If the suspects are found and detained, and if the allegations are true, the two men will be facing very serious charges. It is important however, that even though someone is accused of a crime does not mean that he or she is guilty of that crime or that every allegation is even true. This is why hiring a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer is so crucial in a criminal case. Here, at Lawson and Berry, we explore all potential and viable defenses and ensure that a person who is accused of a crime is never assumed to be guilty.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today, so that we can get started on your case.