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When drug addiction leads to burglary

It’s not uncommon for drug addiction to lead to burglary. In fact, stealing is usually a sign that someone has become an addict.

If you or someone you know has been struggling with addiction, read on to learn about the cost of burglary in Georgia.

Georgia burglary law defines burglary in the first and second degree.

First-degree burglary

First-degree burglary is committed by any individual who enters or remains within a residential home (whether occupied, unoccupied or vacant) without permission and with the intent to steal or commit a felony.

First-degree burglary can result in felony charges, punishable by at least one year or up to 20 years of jailtime. A second offense is punishable by at least two years or up to 25 years of jailtime and subsequent offenses result in at least five years or up to 25 years of jailtime.

Second-degree burglary

Charges are bumped down to second-degree burglary if the structure is not designed or intended for residential use.

Second-degree burglary charges are punishable by at least one year or up to five years of jailtime. Subsequent offenses can result in at least one year or up to eight years of jailtime.

Smash and grab burglary

Georgia also has specific parameters for defining “smash and grab” burglary. Smash and grab burglary is similar to shoplifting in that it is done with a person steals or intends to steal from a retail establishment. However, smash and grab burglary charges are issued when the person enters the establishment without authority and causes damages in excess of $500.

Smash and grab burglary can’t result in felony charges, punishable by at least two years or up to 20 years of jail time or a fine up to $100,000 or both. The minimum jail sentence goes up to five years for subsequent offenses.

Drug court

If you are facing criminal charges for burglary or another crime in which drugs and/or alcohol were a major factor, you may be eligible to go to drug court as an alternative penalty. Drug court helps treat and rehabilitate those who are struggling with addiction, instead of using jail sentences.

The program requires treatment, random drug screens, meeting attendance, court appearances and more. You may not be eligible for drug court if you have been charged with a violent offense.

To learn more about the legal options for someone who has been arrested for a drug-related crime, such as burglary, contact a criminal defense attorney for advice. A lawyer can help you fight for an outcome that keeps options for your future on the table.

 

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The firm of Katherine A. Gonos, Attorney at Law, is located in Valdosta, Georgia, and serves residents throughout south Georgia, including these counties: Lowndes, Brooks, Colquitt, Echols, Thomas, Clinch, Cook, Lanier, Atkinson and Tift.