Conoscienti and Ledbetter, LLC: Your Burglary Charge Defense Lawyer in Atlanta

Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Trusted Atlanta defense lawyer

Georgia law defines burglary as entering someone else’s property with the intent to steal or commit crime. Call Conoscienti and Ledbetter in Atlanta.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on May 25, 2023.

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Burglary Defense Attorney in Atlanta

Burglary is a property crime involving breaking into any building, home, car, or other structures without authorization to commit a felony or theft. A person’s fault is charged with burglary regardless of whether they succeed in their purpose for breaking into a building.

Burglary often involves assault, possession of weapons, and theft crimes. That’s why the penalties for burglary charges depend on the felony or misdemeanor that is associated with it.

Facing a burglary conviction has severe consequences in Atlanta. A defendant facing such charges requires the assistance of an Atlanta defense lawyer on their side. The lawyer can help you claim your innocence by building a strong defense strategy for your case.

What Does Atlanta Law Consider as Burglary?

In Atlanta, burglary is the unlawful intrusion into a building, vehicle, or structure with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary can occur in dwelling properties, such as houses, or non-dwelling properties, such as commercial buildings. Both types result in a felony burglary charge.

Not all illegal entry incidents are burglaries. For an illegal entry to be a burglary, two crucial conditions must be met: unauthorized entry and intent to commit a crime. Georgia law divides burglary into three categories, each varying in the severity of consequences.

First-Degree Burglary

Under Georgia Code § 16-7-1, an individual commits the first-degree burglary offense when they enter or remain within a vacant, occupied, or unoccupied property intended to be a dwelling without the owner’s authorization and with the intention to steal or commit a felony. The law applies to other properties such as vehicles, watercraft, railroad cars, aircraft, or other structures used as a residence place.

Second-Degree Burglary

Second-degree burglary is when a person enters or remains in a vacant, occupied, or unoccupied structure intending to steal or commit a felony inside. However, the property is not for dwelling purposes.

Smash and Grab Burglary

Smash and grab burglary is committed when someone intentionally enters a retail establishment with the intent to commit theft and damages the establishment in excess of $500.00 without the owner’s consent.

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What Are the Penalties for Burglary in Atlanta?

In Atlanta, Georgia, a burglary conviction carries serious penalties, such as a possible prison sentence. Felony charges of burglary can carry a sentence of more than a year in state prison.

An individual with a first-time, first-degree burglary conviction can face one to 20 years of prison time. While a second conviction has a minimum of a 2-year sentence, and any subsequent conviction carries five years to 25 years in prison.

An individual who commits a second-degree burglary for the first time faces a penalty ranging from one to five years in prison. While for repeat offenses, the penalty ranges from one to eight years in prison.

smash-and-grab burglary charge is also a felony conviction in Atlanta. It is punishable by 20 years maximum and fines up to $100,000.

Possible Defenses for Burglary Charges

Fighting a burglary charge requires a strong defense. Some options that Atlanta burglary attorneys could use to defend your case include the following:


You cannot be convicted of burglary unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. If they fail to do this, your attorney will fight to have the case against you dismissed.

Your defense lawyer will review all the evidence to make sure that your rights are not violated and that the court properly evaluates the case. If your alibi is well-established, the court will have no choice but to dismiss the case against you as a result of your absence from the crime scene.

Proof of Consent to Enter the Property

Your defense attorney may show that you had authorization from the property owner to enter the premises. It can help you obtain an acquittal from illegal breaking in and dismiss the burglary charge. However, if you stole something, you could still be found guilty of theft.

Insufficient Evidence

Your Atlanta burglary attorney can argue that the prosecutor has insufficient evidence to convict you of burglary. However, you may still have to face theft or trespass charges.

Potential Intention

Intent to commit a crime is a crucial element in a burglary charge. Your burglary lawyer can challenge this point by arguing that you had a valid purpose to be on the property. For example, you may have been attending an event when you decided to steal something while inside. Instead of a burglary conviction, you may receive a theft charge.


What are the chances of getting the charges dismissed or reduced?

Predicting the chances of your case/charges dismissal or reduction depends on several factors. Each case hinges on unique factors like evidence, legal arguments, and prosecutorial negotiation. However, some factors can result in leniency, dismissal, or reduction of charges.

  • Weak evidence or procedural errors can open doors to dismissal.
  • Strong alibis, lack of intent, or mistaken identity can bolster arguments for reduced charges.
  • Early cooperation and proactive engagement with the legal system might favor leniency.

These are general points. Each case is different and requires specific strategy to get the desired outcome. For more accurate perspective, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney.

    Don’t delay. Schedule a consultation today, for free.

    What Is an Attorney’s Role in a Burglary Defense Case?

    Under the law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta, you can fight the prosecutors’ case to prove your innocence or reduce your charge.

    The attorney will help you identify the errors in your case and aid in reducing your sentence. They will also verify the statements against you and check if your arrest was compliant with your search and seizure constitutional rights.

    An attorney with a proven track record with burglary cases is best suited to advocate for you and fight for your freedom. Therefore, consider obtaining the services of award-winning lawyers to represent you.


    Conoscienti and Ledbetter, LLC Can Help

    Facing burglary charges can be overwhelming. At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, LLC, we carefully review our clients’ cases, provide legal counsel, and develop comprehensive defense strategies.

    Our defense lawyers have experience in various practice areas, such as felonies and misdemeanors in both criminal and civil law. If you or a family member is facing burglary, theft, domestic violence, drug, or traffic charges, you need the help of our attorneys at Conoscienti and Ledbetter, LLC.

    Contact us today for a free consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Much Does a Defense Attorney Cost in Georgia?

    The cost of a Georgia criminal defense lawyer varies depending on geographical location, attorney’s experience, and the case facts and complexity. The price ranges differ from one attorney to the other, although most charge by the hour.

    Get an estimate of the cost of our services by scheduling a free case evaluation today.

    How Much Time Do You Get for Burglary in Georgia?

    In the first degree, an individual who commits a burglary offense is punishable by imprisonment of one to 20 years. While in the second degree, the penalty is one to five years in prison.

    How Long Do You Get for Burglary?

    A burglary conviction carries a punishment of at least one year in state prison. Although depending on the circumstances and specifics of your case, a felony burglary conviction carries a prison term of up to 20 years.

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    (404) 328-7276
    315 W Ponce de Leon Ave. Suite 400 Decatur, GA 30030

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