While crime as a whole is down across the country, burglaries in Augusta are up for the past five years. This is true in nearly every neighborhood. As the Augusta Chronicle reports, one of the wealthier ones, Summerville, has been hit particularly hard.
As a matter of fact, one resident of the Summerville community, a judge no less, shot and killed a home invader just last week while protecting his property and himself. To inform citizens about their rights in protecting their homes, the Chronicle listed a brief overview of the gun laws and how they vary from Georgia to the laws in South Carolina, for citizens of North Augusta.
Since 2005 the report states that 255 burglaries and 34 robberies have occurred in the Summerville neighborhood. As a whole, Richmond County has seen a jump from 2,808 to 3,243 in burglaries from 2005 to 2009. What’s behind this jump at a time when other crimes seem to be decreasing is a mystery.
Even more uncommon but measures more frightening than a burglary is a home invasion—a burglary when residents are actually at home. This is what happened when two burglars broke into the home of a local judge, not realizing the house was occupied at the time.
People living in neighborhoods like Summerville often believe they are far safer than those of other communities. In fact, that’s part of the reason they are willing to pay more for their homes—it isn’t just about having the nicest lawn or the biggest pool, but living in an area where you believe you and your family will be far less likely to be victimized by such intrusive crimes.
This would explain the extra outrage seen when crime rates climb in the higher income neighborhoods. The thought that “this shouldn’t happen here” abounds. Citizens of the Summerville community are being encouraged to “protect themselves” with firearms should someone decide to break in.
In Georgia, in most cases, you can use a gun to defend your home and yourself from harm. A pretty broad law, the ability to use deadly force in your home states “deadly force is legal is someone breaks into a home and you know it’s not a lawful entry or if you know the deadly force would prevent the person from committing a felony.”
Not all gun laws are so permissive or so easy to understand. As a matter of fact, it’s quite possible to run afoul of these laws and not even know it. You could be facing criminal charges for a gun crime they didn’t realize they had committed.
If you are facing gun charges, burglary, robbery, or any criminal charge in Georgia, please contact us for a criminal defense consultation.