Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Recent Carjacking Provides Examples of Theft and Obstruction in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

According to recent news, two suspects are on the run after a carjacking Friday night in DeKalb County.

Someone called 911 late that night saying that they were followed into condominium complex on Peachford Road by a black Infiniti. Once the caller parked, one suspect exited the vehicle and carjacked the caller's black BMW before both leaving the complex.

One of the drivers then crashed at an intersection of Chamblee Dunwoody Road and ran away on foot. He escaped the area despite hours of searching by authorities. 

The stolen BMW hasn't been found. 

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to highlight a few crimes that the two suspects are facing if the facts reported are true. 

Theft By Taking in Georgia

The most common type of theft in Georgia is theft by taking. Theft by taking in Georgia is defined by Georgia law as: 

When a person unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which property is taken or appropriated.” O.C.G.A. §16-8-2.

Punishment for theft by taking is either classified as a misdemeanor or a felony in Georgia. The outcome is dependent upon the property value. 

  • If the value of the property is $500 or less, then it is considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor includes a fine up to $1,000 and a sentence of up to 12 months. 
  • If the value of the property is more than $500, then it is considered a felony. 
  • Most of the time, theft of a motor vehicle is considered a felony in Georgia because most motor vehicles are worth more than $500. However, according to the Georgia Code, theft of a motor vehicle is a felony, but that in the discretion of the judge, they could consider it a misdemeanor. 
  • Moreover, the victim of the theft can also bring a civil action to recover monetary damages.

Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia

Obstruction is also a common charge in Georgia. Some examples of obstruction include:

  • Resisting arrest, with or without using force
  • Hindering a police investigation
  • Lying to an officer
  • Giving false or misleading information to an officer
  • Running from an officer
  • Threatening an officer
  • Hitting an officer

Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony. According to Georgia law, the only difference between the obstruction offenses is offering or committing violence towards the officer. 

A misdemeanor obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as:

When a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a). 

If you are convicted of the misdemeanor obstruction offense, you could face up to twelve months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.

A felony obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as: 

When a person knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, or conservation officer in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to the person.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b). 

If you are convicted of the felony obstruction offense, you could face anywhere from one to five years in prison, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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