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Committing burglary in Georgia

Under modern penal codes, burglary is the act of entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime. In common law, an act only rose to such a charge if an individual entered a house or dwelling, but most states have expanded it to include commercial buildings as well. This charge differs from a robbery charge because a robbery involves the use of force to take another party's property. A burglary can take place when an individual enters the building through an open door or window for example.

To win a conviction on a burglary charge, a prosecutor must show that an individual entered a structure, did so in an unauthorized manner and had the intent to commit a crime while inside. Breaking and entering can either occur through physical means such as pushing a door open or through threats and blackmail that would manipulate another party into granting a defendant access.

A structure is considered any building that could shelter people, animals or property. Furthermore, the structure generally must not be abandoned. Lastly, it must be proven that an individual had an intent to commit a crime once inside the structure. Whether an individual faces a first-degree burglary charge or a less serious second-degree charge depends on whether or not that person intended to commit a crime before or after entering the structure.

Those who have been charged with burglary or other serious felonies may want to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as the penalties that could be imposed if convicted could be severe. The attorney can review the circumstances leading up to the arrest in order to determine whether any of the defendant's rights were violated.

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