Have You Been Charged with Smash and Grab Burglary in Georgia?
Burglary and other property crimes carry significant punishments in Georgia. If you or a loved one have been charged with smash and grab burglary or any other criminal offense, call our office immediately. Our attorneys have over 50 combined years of experience and are prepared to assist with your case today.
What is Smash and Grab Burglary in Georgia?
Smash and grab burglary is a type of burglary that involves smashing a barrier, grabbing valuables, and then making a quick getaway. The barrier can be a display window in a store or a showcase. The main difference between smash and grab burglary and regular burglary is that smash and grab focuses on breaking and entering a retail property to commit theft.
According to O.C.G.A. § 16-7-2(b), A person commits the offense of smash and grab burglary when he or she intentionally and without authority enters a retail establishment with the intent to commit a theft and causes damage in excess of $500.00 to such establishment without the owner's consent.
Under this code, the term “retail establishment” means an establishment that sells goods or merchandise from a fixed location for direct consumption by a purchaser and includes establishments that prepare and sell meals or other edible products either for carry out or service within the establishment.
What is the Penalty for Smash and Grab Burglary in Georgia?
If convicted of smash and grab burglary in Georgia, the crime will be charged as a felony with a punishment of two to twenty years in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both.
However, a second or subsequent conviction will be punished by a prison term between five and twenty years, a fine up to $100,000, or both.
In addition to prison and fines, felony convictions stay on your criminal history and can make it difficult to obtain housing, employment, or credit. The consequences of a conviction will have a significant impact on your life. That is why we always recommend contacting an experienced Georgia Burglary Attorney when charged with this crime.
Georgia Defenses to Smash and Grab Burglary
Innocence: The most basic defense is actual innocence. An innocence argument involves your Georgia Burglary Attorney convincing the court that you did not commit the act or acts in question. The prosecution bears the burden of proving you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so to defeat a burglary charge, your lawyer must create plausible doubt in the minds of the jury as to whether the prosecutions' evidence truly demonstrates that you committed the crime. Your Attorney can create uncertainty by presenting an alibi or creating doubt as to the scientific reliability of a forensic technique used to obtain the charge.
Lack of Intent: Your Smash and Grab Burglary Lawyer in Georgia could use intent as one of the possible defenses for your case. Because intent to commit a felony in the structure is an element of burglary, your Lawyer could use the argument that you had a purpose of being on the property and then decided to commit a crime once inside. Without having the intent to commit a crime before entering a structure, you cannot be found guilty of burglary. For example, if you attended a party and once inside the home realize that you would like to steal a vase, and then you take it, you would not be convicted of burglary. You could be found guilty of theft but not burglary because you did not have any intent to steal when you entered the home, and you had permission to enter.
Lack of Sufficient Evidence: One of the arguments your Georgia Smash and Grab Burglary Attorney can make is that the Prosecutor does not have enough evidence to convict you of the crime.
Our Georgia Smash and Grab Burglary Lawyers will help you understand your options and will assist you with your case. To schedule a free consultation with Lawson and Berry, contact our offices today. Our Attorneys are dedicated to being accessible to their clients—days, nights, weekends, and holidays while working hard on their behalf. Your Attorney will make sure you understand all your options and the good and bad of each. Every Burglary case is unique, and Georgia Burglary Attorneys will work with you to formulate the best possible defense for your situation. They will advise you on the best approach to take for your case based on their many years of experience. Contact us today for your free case evaluation. Your future is at stake, so do not sit around waiting for your case to resolve itself.