Police have finally apprehended the man accused of breaking into a woman's apartment and raping her last month in Atlanta. The man was arrested and charged with:
- Rape in Georgia
- Sodomy in Georgia
- Kidnapping in Georgia
- False imprisonment in Georgia
- Burglary in Georgia
Investigators were able to link the burglary to the rape when they identified fingerprints at the scene.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of home invasion in today's post. By law, home invasion is referred to as burglary.
Home Invasion in Georgia
Home invasion in Georgia, otherwise known as burglary, 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.
There are many subtle differences between criminal offense when it comes to Georgia Criminal Law. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a crime, contact our offices today. We can determine what course of action makes the most sense for you and your case. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney will fight for your rights and your freedom.