Burglary is the unlawful breaking and entering or remaining in a property of another with the intent to commit a felony or a theft. Georgia has two degrees of burglary. The difference between the degrees depends on whether the property broken into was residential or commercial. However, Georgia also has a burglary charge that focuses on breaking and entering a retail property to commit theft. This specific kind of burglary is called “smash and grab burglary.”
What Is Smash and Grab Burglary?
In Georgia, smash and grab burglary is the crime of intentionally entering a retail establishment with the intent to commit theft and without authority to enter into the store. Also, the perpetrator must commit damage exceeding $500 to the retail store without the owner’s consent to be guilty of this form of burglary.
What Is a Retail Establishment?
Georgia law defines a retail establishment as any place that sells merchandise and goods for direct consumption by a customer in a fixed location. It also includes any establishment that prepares and sells meals or any other edible products. The food items or meals can be for dining in the establishment and/or carryout.
Is Smash and Grab Burglary the Same as Robbery in Georgia?
No. Robbery is the crime of taking another individual’s property without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner. To permanently deprive the owner means the person intends not to give the property back to its rightful owner. This smash and grab crime is more related to burglary because a person is accused of entering into an establishment or remaining there. Their intent is to commit theft or another felony crime.
What Is the Punishment If This Is My First Smash and Grab Burglary Charge?
A first-time conviction for smash and grab burglary will result in a punishment of:
- Two to 20 years in prison
- $100,000 fine
- Both a fine and time in prison
Can a Criminal Lawyer Help Me with My Case?
Definitely. A Georgia criminal lawyer will explain to you all of your legal options and rights. They will also work to positively resolve your burglary case.