Home Invasion – Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney
Home invasion is a serious felony crime in Georgia. Home invasion is either in the first degree, or in the second degree and can be found at O.C.G.A. § 16-7-5.
Home Invasion in the First Degree
A person commits the offense of home invasion in the first degree when, without authority and with intent to commit a forcible felony while in possession of a deadly weapon, he or she enters the home of another while such house is occupied by a person with authority to be there. For example, entering someone’s home while it is occupied by another with the intent to commit an armed robbery, an aggravated assault, or a rape would be considered home invasion in the first degree.
What is the punishment for Home Invasion in the First Degree?
It is a felony offense, with the maximum punishment being life in prison with a fine of up to $100,000. The State of Georgia prosecutes Home Invasion cases harshly. The law, however, does allow the Judge to impose a sentence of probation.
Home Invasion in the Second Degree
A person commits the offense of home invasion in the second degree when, without authority and with intent to commit a forcible misdemeanor, and while in possession of a deadly weapon, he or she enters the home of another while such home is occupied by any person with authority to be present therein. For example, home invasion in the second degree could occur if someone were to enter into someone else’s home, while being in possession of a tool capable of serious bodily injury, with the intent to commit a simple assault (a misdemeanor).
What is the punishment for Home Invasion in the Second Degree in Georgia?
Home invasion in the second degree is also a felony offense, with imprisonment for 5-20 years and a fine of up to $100,000. Probation, again, is allowed under the law.
Defenses to Home Invasion
A skilled criminal defense attorney can raise numerous defenses to Home Invasion cases in Georgia. If the State is unable to prove you were at the location beyond a reasonable doubt, then you will be acquitted. Additionally, it is required that the person to possess a deadly weapon at the time of the unlawful entry. The State will not be able to prove its case if there was no weapon at the time of entry, or even if the weapon was acquired while inside the home.
Can you get a bond if you are arrested for a Home Invasion?
The short answer is: yes, but not necessarily at the First Appearance. If you have been arrested for Home Invasion in Georgia, the first court appearance will be the First Appearance hearing. This takes place within 48 hours if the arrest was made without a warrant, and within 72 hours if the arrest was made with a warrant.
At the First Appearance, the Judge will inform the accused of the charges and their right to remain silent and to a lawyer. It is at this Court appearance where the Judge can set bail in most instances. However, Home Invasion in the First Degree is a Superior Court-only bond. This means that the bond may only be heard before a Judge of the Superior Court. First Appearance, however, is often heard by a Magistrate Judge, without authority to hear or set bond on a Home Invasion in the First Degree case. Thus, no bond can be given in this scenario. This is not the case with Home Invasion in the Second Degree. Any Judge may set bail at the First Appearance if it is Home Invasion in the Second Degree.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for Home Invasion, contact the trial lawyers at W. Scott Smith PC for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.