Police are still searching for two other suspects that they believe were involved in a May carjacking earlier this year. Investigators believe that three suspects put a gun to a young man's head and ordered him out of his vehicle outside of a SunTrust Bank location in Peachtree City. The vehicle was later discovered after it had been abandoned with its motor running.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of carjacking - also known as hijacking a motor vehicle in today's post.
Hijacking a Motor Vehicle in Georgia
Hijacking a motor vehicle in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-44 as:
A person commits the offense of hijacking a motor vehicle when such person while in possession of a fireman or weapon obtains a motor vehicle from the person or presence of another by force and violence or intimidation or attempts or conspires to do so.
To commit the crime of hijacking, a weapon or firearm must be involved. A firearm includes handguns, rifles, shotguns, or a similar device, which is used to expel a projectile. Firearms include tasers and stun guns. Georgia law defines a weapon as “an object, device, or instrument which when used against a person is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury or death”. Also included under the definition of a weapon are replicas or other devices that have the appearance of a weapon as defined by the statute.
Hijacking a motor vehicle is classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalty for hijacking a motor vehicle is a prison term for no less than 10 and no more than 20 years and a fine between $10,000.00 and $100,000.00. However, if the accused already has a prior conviction for hijacking, then the consequences are much more severe. In that situation, the penalty would be life in prison and a fine between $100,000.00 and $500,000.00. The previous hijacking conviction does not have to be from a Georgia court. The conviction can be from any other state or country as long as the offense would be considered hijacking in Georgia.
Hijacking a motor vehicle shares many of the same elements as armed robbery in Georgia. These types of crimes are handled very seriously, and the penalties are not to be taken lightly.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for one of these crimes, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. We can help you now.