Retail theft is the unlawful taking, transferring, possessing, or carrying away of any merchandise offered by a retail establishment. It is a variation of larceny, which is the crime of taking property of another with the intent to permanently keep the property away from the owner. While retail theft is a separate crime from burglary in Georgia, it is related to burglary within the crime of smash and grab burglary.

What Is Burglary?

Under Georgia law, burglary is the unlawful breaking and entering into or remaining on property with the intent to commit a theft or a felony thereafter. The property may be residential or commercial and occupied or unoccupied at the time of the burglary.

How Does Georgia Define Smash and Grab Burglary?

Smash and grab burglary is a crime that occurs when a person intentionally and without consent enters into a retail establishment with the purpose of committing theft. The person also causes over $500 worth of damage to the retail establishment without procuring consent from the owner to cause the damage.

What Is Considered a Retail Establishment in Georgia?

A retail establishment is any place that sells goods or merchandise from a fixed location for direct consumption by the purchaser. This includes any establishment selling meals or edible products for dine in and carryout.

What Is the Punishment for a First-Time Conviction of Smash and Grab Burglary?

In Georgia, a person convicted of smash and grab burglary for the first time will face a penalty of a $100,000 fine and/or two to 20 years in prison.

What Kind of Punishment Is There for a Second Conviction?

A person convicted for the second time, or any subsequent time, of smash and grab burglary faces a minimum of five years in prison. The maximum is still a possibility of 20 years in prison. You also still face a possibility of a fine of $100,000.

Do I Need a Lawyer’s Help to Fight My Burglary Charge?

Yes. Burglary is a serious offense, especially if this is not your first time being charged with this crime. You need all the legal help you can obtain to fight this charge. Contact a Georgia criminal lawyer immediately.