Grainy security footage, mistaken identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and other factors could result in a person facing criminal charges for something he or she had no involvement in. You may have recently found yourself under arrest after authorities responded to reports of a burglary and, for whatever reason, considered you the prime suspect.
You may have tried to explain that you had no involvement, but likely, the police did not take you at your word. A smash and grab burglary took place, and police may believe that you show up on surveillance video or may have found you in the area where the burglary took place around the time it occurred. Though you want to vehemently maintain your innocence, you must now do so in court.
What is a smash and grab?
Georgia law covers various types of property crimes, and a smash and grab burglary occurs when someone essentially smashes his or her way into a retail business (such as by breaking a window or door), grabbing property and taking off. Usually, a smash and grab burglary is one that takes place relatively quickly and without attempts to coerce other individuals into handing over property. Burglary in general differs from robbery because burglaries typically do not involve any type of threats or force toward another person.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the burglary does not necessarily have to involve the actual taking of property. The suspect only had to have had the intention to commit theft. In fact, the three elements the prosecution would need to prove that you committed a smash and grab burglary include the following:
- You intentionally entered a retail establishment.
- You intended to commit theft.
- You caused damages that exceeded $500.
Unfortunately, the state has harsh punishments for those convicted of burglary, as first degree, second degree and smash and grab burglary all fall into the felony category.
What could you face if convicted?
If the court convicts you of committing a smash and grab burglary, you could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. Undoubtedly, you want to avoid any type of conviction, and understanding your defense options will certainly come in handy. Because navigating such legal matters is complicated, you may want to obtain the help of an experienced attorney.