Smash and Grab Burglary in Georgia

A Smash and Grab Burglary is one where a person intentionally enters a retail establishment with the intent to commit a theft, and causes damage in excess of $500.00 damages to the establishment without the owner’s consent. The most common form of a Smash and Grab burglary is done in a jewelry store where the glass cases are broken. However, all retail establishments are included under Georgia law, including restaurants. If a glass door is broken during a burglary, or a lock is broken, and it results in more than $500 in damage, you can be charged under the Smash and Grab statute in Georgia. This is true even if nothing is ever taken or stolen.

Smash and Grab burglaries are treated more harshly in Georgia than a regular retail burglary (which is known as Burglary in the 2nd degree in Georgia). For example, on a first offense for Smash and Grab, it is a mandatory minimum 2 to 20 years to serve and/or a fine of up to $100,000.  On a second conviction for Smash and Grab, the sentence will range of a minimum of 5 years in prison and up to 20 years or a fine of up to $100,000.  On the other hand, a Burglary in the 2nd degree is a lesser included offense, and has a mandatory minimum sentence of a year (versus two years on a first offense Smash and Grab).

Under Georgia law, eyewitnesses are not required for a conviction for burglary, and this includes a Smash and Grab burglary. Fingerprints, DNA on cigarette left nearby, surveillance footage, and even cell phone records showing the person near the scene can all be sufficient for a conviction. A seasoned attorney who has handled these unique cases will do a full case evaluation and may attack the methods of the investigation, as well as any cell phone records, search warrants, and forensic testing done by law enforcement.

If you or a loved one has been charged with Burglary in Georgia, including a Smash and Grab, call the Law Office of W. Scott Smith today for a free case evaluation at 404-581-0999.