A nurse working in the Emergency Room at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South reported that the window of his car was smashed in while he was working a twelve-hour shift helping COVID-19 patients.
He reported that while he was attempting to stabilize a critical patient, another hospital employee informed him that his car had been broken into. The suspect or suspects shattered the nurse's window. The hood was then popped open and the battery was removed.
He has remained unidentified but made a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution saying, “I just think it's extra bad to be doing it to someone who is literally risking their lives day in and day out for the community and the community I serve. It's not even somewhere else. It's in the community I'm currently serving. That's what's so upsetting.”
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will focus the topic of today's post on the offense of entering auto as it appears to be the offense committed here.
Entering Auto in Georgia
Entering Auto in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. § 16-8-18 as:
If any person shall enter any automobile or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or a felony, he shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for no less than one nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor.
The penalty for entering auto is a prison sentence for no less than one year and no more than five years and is deemed a felony. However, it is within the judge's discretion to treat the crime as a misdemeanor instead.
If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor instead of a felony, you may only have to pay a fine. But if you judge issues a felony conviction, the consequences may be years in prison. You could receive a prison sentence, a fine, or both if guilty of a felony.
Also, you may be ordered by the court to pay restitution. Restitution is when someone convicted of a crime must financially compensate a victim or the victim's family. The amount of compensation varies with each case and is set by the court. Your penalty for a conviction of entering auto could be a prison sentence, restitution, and a fine if they found it reasonable for your case.
Not everyone who is accused of committing a criminal offense is guilty of that particular offense. As of right now no one has been arrested for the offense listed in the story above. Officers are still investigating.
On another note, if you or a loved one has been wrongfully accused or arrested, call our offices now.