Norcross Burglary Lawyers
Whether you are charged with first or second-degree burglary, our Norcross burglary lawyers can help resolve your case.
Like many criminal offenses, a burglary conviction has both direct and collateral consequences. Since it is considered a violent crime, even if little or no violence was involved, sentences are usually long. Additionally, since it is a crime of moral turpitude, a burglary conviction could have immigration, employment, educational, and other consequences.
At Zimmerman & Associates, our Norcross burglary lawyers understand how much is at stake. So, we begin by giving you solid legal advice about your different options. Since we know the law, we always lead you down the right path. Additionally, we aggressively stand up for your rights in court. Whether you have procedural or substantive defenses, we never stop fighting for you.
Burglary Elements in Georgia
In Georgia, burglary is considerably broader than it is in the common law. First-degree burglary (maximum 20 years in prison) is burglary of a dwelling. Second-degree burglary (maximum five years in prison) is burglary of a commercial building. Probation is usually, but not always, available in both first and second-degree cases.
Here are the broad parts. A person commits burglary if he or she enters the dwelling house of another with the intend to commit a felony for theft. Therein, that person need not actually commit the crime; intent is enough. Furthermore, the defendant need not remain inside; simply entering is enough.
These twists make burglary one of the most complex crimes in Georgia. Assume Bill goes to his ex-wife Judy’s apartment with the intent to take back his 50” Samsung TV. Bill who still has a key to Judy’s apartment, arrives at Judy’s apartment, unlocks the front door, and enters. Judy, who is home, confronts Bill and tells him to leave. Bill agrees and leaves Judy’s apartment.
Even though Bill did not break into Judy’s apartment nor did he steal anything, Bill would still be guilty of burglary. Thus, Burglary encompasses a much wider range of behaviors than what is commonly believed.
Some Burglary Defenses in Gwinnet County
Failure to timely Mirandize the defendant is one of the most common procedural defenses in burglary cases. Legally, police officers must inform defendants of their Miranda rights (you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney, etc.) when custodial interrogation begins.
“Custodial interrogation” is a very vague phrase. People are in custody when they do not feel free to leave. Normally, if officers confront people on the street, they do not feel free to leave. Additionally, “interrogation” does not necessarily mean asking questions. Many officers know how to extract information from defendants without asking questions.
Lack of evidence may be an issue as well. Let’s return to the Bill-Judy example. Since it is very difficult to prove what is in someone’s mind, it would be difficult for prosecutors to establish that Bill entered Judy’s apartment with the intent to take the TV.
This defense is often effective in other situations as well. Prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the highest standard of evidence in Georgia.
Count on a Tenacious Attorney
Burglary is a serious charge, but defenses are available. For a free consultation with an experienced Norcross burglary lawyer, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law. Home and jail visits are available.