A string of crimes have been reported in the Buckhead area of the city of Atlanta. Buckhead is typically a very low-crime area in Atlanta.
According to reports, in the las week and a half, eight different cars have been broken into, and there have been different armed robberies and burglaries reported as well. The most alarming of reports was a man allegedly pointing a gun at a shopper in the Peachtree Battle shopping center after breaking open the shopper's car window.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will outline the offense of entering auto in Georgia as it is the bulk of the reports. So far, police say they've made several arrests in connection to the most recent crimes, but many incidents are still being investigated.
Police spokesman, Carlos Campos, commented on the incidents by issuing a warning: “Certain types of crimes … tend to increase during the holiday season, especially theft from auto. Unfortunately, some of the perpetrators of theft from auto crimes are increasingly armed, which is what has been happening in the Buckhead area.”
Entering Auto in Georgia
Entering Auto in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law 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. O.C.G.A. §16-8-18.
The penalty for an entering auto conviction in Georgia is a prison sentence for no less than one year and no more than five years and is deemed a felony conviction.
There are some instances in which a judge may use his or her discretion to charge entering auto as a misdemeanor offense instead of a felony. If found guilty of a misdemeanor instead of a felony, a person may only have to pay a fine.
As with most theft crimes, a convicted person may have to pay restitution. This can be ordered by the court. Restitution includes any financial compensation to the victim or the victim's family.
However, if the judge issues a felony conviction, the consequences may be years in prison. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today.