Burglary is the crime of breaking and entering into a property or remaining the property without consent and with the intent to commit a crime. One does not need to use force to enter into the property. Georgia has two degrees of burglary.

How Does Georgia Define Burglary?

Under Georgia law, the crime of burglary is the unlawful breaking and entering into or remaining in a building, vehicle, watercraft, airplane, railroad car, or other structure with the intent to commit a theft or a felony inside. The structure can be unoccupied, occupied, or vacant. The perpetrator does not have consent or authority to enter into or remain in the structure.

What Is the Difference between Burglary in the First Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree?

Burglary in the first degree is the crime of committing a burglary in any structure that is intended to be a dwelling. Since burglary in Georgia can be committed in property other than an actual building, burglary in the first degree can involve breaking and entering into a houseboat or a RV. The crime of burglary in the second degree is the commission of a burglary in any structure that is not intended to be residential. Thus, a burglary in the second degree generally includes remaining in or breaking and entering into a commercial property, such as an office building or a commercial airliner.

What Is the Penalty for Burglary in Georgia?

The penalty that a person may receive depends on the degree of burglary for which they are convicted.

  • Burglary in the first degree: one to 20 years in prison
  • Burglary in the second degree: one to five years in prison

Will I Face More Prison Time If This Is My Second Burglary Conviction in Georgia?

Subsequent convictions for burglary in both the first degree and the second degree come with harsher sentences than a first conviction. The punishment for second conviction of first degree burglary is two to 20 years in prison, while any subsequent conviction of this crime will result in five to 25 years in prison. All subsequent convictions of second degree burglary following the first conviction come with a prison sentence of one to eight years. Furthermore, the penalty for any burglary conviction after the third conviction, regardless if the conviction is for burglary in the second degree or in the first degree, cannot be probated, suspended, withheld, or deferred.

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Obtaining legal representation should always be the first step that one takes when being charged with commission of a crime. Contact a Georgia criminal defense lawyer about your burglary case to determine how to proceed with the case.