Lawrenceville, Ga. - According to Gwinnett County police, they are searching for a suspect who has been accused of carjacking a vehicle at a gas station.
What makes the incident even more dangerous is that the man carjacked the vehicle while a woman and her baby were inside of the car. The mother and her infant had to jump out of the moving car in order to escape from the man. Both victims sustained minor injuries thankfully and both were treated and released at the scene.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of carjacking in today's post. The crime is officially known as hijacking a motor vehicle according to Georgia Law.
Hijacking a Motor Vehicle in Georgia
Hijacking a Motor Vehicle in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code 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 be accused of committing the crime of hijacking a motor vehicle, a weapon must be involved. 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.
Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia.