Burglary Charge in Columbus, Georgia
Under Georgia law, burglary is entering and remaining in a building or vehicle without permission for the purpose of committing a crime. It does not matter if there are others inside or if the property was vacant at the time of the incident. It is also important to note that a burglary does not have to occur in a home—it is illegal to enter any structure without permission and with illicit intent.
In order to convict someone of burglary, the prosecution must establish that the defendant:
- Did not have permission to enter
- Intended to commit a crime, such as theft or another felonious act
Burglary Home Invasion
If a burglary occurs in a dwelling, it will be charged as a home invasion, a separate offense under Georgia’s burglary statutes. Under the law, a “dwelling” can be a house, apartment, or any structure that is used as a residence.
Tools of the Crime
It is also illegal in Georgia to possess any of following with intent to commit a burglary:
- Lock picks
- Hand tools, including pliers, screwdrivers and hammers
- Gunpowder, dynamite or other explosives
- Prying devices, such as crow bars
- Clothing, masks or gloves used to disguise identity or fingerprints
Burglary is a felony in Georgia. Burglary of a structure that is not a home, as well as possession of burglary tools may both be punished by a prison sentence of one to 20 years. A home invasion burglary may be punished by one to 20 years in prison. Subsequent convictions are subject to additional—and lengthier—prison sentences.