Burglary Defense Attorney in Athens, GA

Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Roles

According to Georgia law, burglary occurs when someone unlawfully enters another person’s home or property to commit theft or another crime. A person could be charged with burglary even if nothing was stolen. Even simply entering a property without permission can result in a burglary charge.

Georgia treats burglaries seriously and prosecutes offenders to the fullest extent of the law in state and federal courts, no matter how trivial they seem. After a conviction, a criminal record is created for life. Having prior convictions may result in harsh punishments, even for minor offenses.

The consequences of theft crimes are severe regardless of whether you’ve been charged with robbery, assault, or shoplifting. Aside from fines, jail time, and probation, a burglary conviction may adversely affect your career and employment prospects.

A criminal defense lawyer at Swingle Levin can help mitigate the long- and short-term effects of these accusations.

What Are Burglary Crimes in Athens?

Burglary in Georgia is defined as breaking and entering a building, structure, or vehicle, intending to commit another offense. The accused must intend to commit an underlying offense, which can be a crime against property, such as theft, or a crime against a person, such as assault. Like other Georgia criminal charges, burglary can be charged in different degrees according to the severity of the crime.

Burglary 1st Degree

In first-degree burglary, one enters or remains in a house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or any other structure intended to be a dwelling without permission and intends to commit theft or another offense. Both occupied and unoccupied structures are included in this offense.

Burglary 2nd Degree

Second-degree burglary occurs when one enters or remains in a house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or any other structure intended to be used for commercial purposes without permission and intends to commit theft or another offense. This offense is less severe than first-degree burglary and consequently carries lighter sentences.

Burglary carries significant penalties upon conviction. You may want to consult an attorney with extensive experience practicing criminal law if you are unsure of the severity of the criminal charges against you.

What Are the Penalties for Burglary Crimes in Athens, Georgia?

As in most states in the U.S., Georgia prosecutes burglary as a felony, even when the underlying offense is a misdemeanor.

Georgia punishes first-degree burglary convictions with prison sentences ranging from one to twenty years. Depending on the severity of the offense, a second offense can result in a sentence of two to twenty years. Third and subsequent offenses of first-degree burglary carry prison sentences ranging from five to twenty-five years.

In the case of second-degree burglary, a prison sentence of at least one year and not more than five years is the punishment. The second and subsequent convictions of burglary in the second degree are felonies punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than eight years.

Furthermore, fourth and subsequent burglary convictions cannot be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

A Georgia criminal defense lawyer from Swingle Levin will help you understand the charges and the potential consequences of your burglary arrest. We will vigorously fight for your rights and seek the best possible outcome for you.

Bond for Burglary Charges 

Bond is determined by many factors, such as the severity of the charge and the county in which you were arrested. Let’s say you’ve been arrested in Athens, Georgia, on a burglary charge. Upon your arrest, a magistrate court judge will tell you what charges have been laid against you during your first appearance. 

When burglary is combined with other more serious accusations or the defendant is already on probation or parole for another crime, a superior court judge can set bond. If that is the case, we usually file a motion for bond in the Superior Court shortly after the arrest. In addition, we may request a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is a possibility of dismissing your charges, to examine the circumstances of your arrest, and to prepare a motion to suppress.

Our next step will be to conduct a thorough investigation of your case by requesting discovery from the prosecutor, filing open records requests, visiting sites related to your case, and interviewing witnesses.

In the event that we cannot get your charges dismissed or reach a resolution that is satisfactory to you, our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys will prepare you for trial.  

Why Do You Need a Burglary Lawyer to Defend Against Burglary Charges?

Due to the seriousness of burglary allegations, and the potential repercussions, it is crucial to defend yourself against burglary allegations successfully. Thus, retaining the services of a top-notch criminal defense attorney is essential for beating the charges.

Our criminal defense lawyers will appear on your behalf in court, work out plea agreements, and develop cases to uphold your legal rights. Our team will keep you informed about your case progress, assist in preparing for court, and advise you on how to handle questions from the prosecution.

To achieve an acquittal, we want to raise reasonable doubts in the minds of the jurors so that they will question the prosecution’s and the defense’s witnesses’ reliability. To achieve this, we will meticulously investigate your case, explore all possible avenues, and draw the attention of the judge or jury to any holes in the prosecution’s case.

Call Swingle Levin for Your Burglary Criminal Defense

An Athens criminal defense lawyer at Swingle Levin knows how frightening it is to be charged with burglary, especially if the charges can be escalated.

A criminal conviction or criminal case can negatively impact a person’s immediate or long-term future. We know what it takes to reintegrate back into society after a criminal conviction – it is not always easy. A criminal conviction strains family ties and employment possibilities, especially if it results in a jail sentence.

We can begin working on your case as soon as you hire our Athens criminal defense law firm. The sooner we start gathering evidence to support your claim, the more trustworthy the evidence becomes.

Learn more about our services by contacting an Athens criminal defense lawyer today!