Embry Hills, Ga. – An elderly woman was the victim of a violent home invasion earlier tonight. She stated that she arrived home around 7:30 PM when she was attacked in her home. Her statement to the police included, “I tried to struggle with him, and he got back behind me, so I couldn't see him, and he was kind of holding me down. And I really thought he was going to rape me.” The suspect beat her until she was rendered unconscious. She has a broken jaw and other facial fractures from the incident.
Fortunately, the woman came to and was able to escape to a neighbor's house where they called 911. The suspect left with her purse and other valuables. DeKalb County Police are still searching for the suspect.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus today's post on the offense of burglary as it is defined by Georgia Law.
Burglary in Georgia
Burglary in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-7-1 as:
First Degree Burglary: if a person 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.
Second Degree Burglary: if a person enters or remains 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.
Simply put, the difference between First and Second Degree Burglary according to the law is whether or not the structure was intended to be a dwelling or not. If the structure is a dwelling or a home, then you have committed first degree. If the structure is not a dwelling, then second degree.
Many people are under the misconception that the only crime that can be associated with burglary is some sort of subsequent theft crime. However, this is not true. A person can still be convicted of burglary if he or she had the intention of kidnapping, assault, or rape. Again, an individual does not have to take any personal property items to be convicted of burglary.
A person found guilty of first degree burglary will be convicted of a felony and will be punished by a prison sentence of one to twenty years. If you are convicted a second time, you will be found guilty of a felony and will be punished by a prison sentence for two to twenty years. For a third or subsequent conviction of burglary, you will be guilty of a felony and will face a prison term for no less than five and no more than twenty-five years.
The punishment if found guilty of second degree burglary is a prison sentence for a period from one to eight years.
If you have been arrested in Georgia or have been accused of a crime, call our offices today. We can help you with your case now.