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.
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.