Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

The Law Behind Entering Auto After Incident in Gwinnett County

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Authorities in Gwinnett County are searching for two suspects who have been accused of removing the handle of a car door in order to enter the vehicle and steal the wallet inside.

According to reports, the unidentified victim parked her vehicle at a park off of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The two suspects forcibly removed the door handle while she was out of sight. The credit cards in the stolen wallet were used at a nearby department store.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of entering auto in today's post. Entering auto is a very similar to the offense of burglary in Georgia. The law can be somewhat confusing, so I will do my best to simplify it.

Entering Auto in Georgia

According to the Georgia Code, the criminal offense of entering auto in Georgia is defined 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 not less than one nor more than five years, or, in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor.

Simply put, entering auto is the breaking and entering into a vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony. 

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. Georgia Felony Punishments are life-altering and should never be taken lightly. However, it is within the judge's discretion to treat the crime as a misdemeanor if circumstances warrant.

If found guilty of a misdemeanor instead of a felony, you may only have to pay a fine. But if your 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.

On top of criminal penalties, you may also 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.

Therefore, your penalty for a conviction of entering auto could be a prison sentence, restitution, and a fine.

Practice Note

If you or a loved one has been arrested for committing a criminal offense in the state of Georgia, it is of the utmost importance that you schedule a consultation with a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney now.

We can help you with your case and can walk you through every step of the way. Call now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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