A young man was accused of stealing two Porsche SUVs from Porsche's North American headquarters in Fulton County. The crime occurred in January of 2017. Nehemiah Brewer was 19 at the time of the occurrence when he and allegedly one other teenager stole the two cars which were valued at $200,000.
Officers chased Brewer up I-75 North to Clayton County and according to reports, he lost them. A few days later, Brewer uploaded pictures of himself committing the crime on Instagram, and the police found the cars abandoned on a street. Police tracked Brewer from his posts on the social media site and made the arrest.
He pled guilty to two counts of theft by taking and one count of entering auto last month and was sentenced to ten years – five in prison and five on probation.
As these two offenses typically are charged together, I will focus today's post on entering auto and theft by taking.
Entering Auto in Georgia
The offense of entering auto in Georgia is simply the breaking and entering into a vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony. Entering auto is a similar crime to burglary in Georgia (the breaking and entering into a structure with the intent to commit a theft or felony).
Georgia Law defines entering auto in Georgiaas:
If any person shall enter any automobile or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. O.C.G.A. §16-8-18.
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. However, it is within the judge's discretion to treat the crime as a misdemeanor instead.
If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor instead of a felony, you may only have to pay a fine. But if you 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.
Theft by Taking in Georgia
The offense of theft by taking in Georgia is also known as larceny in other states. Theft by taking is simply the taking of anything valuable with the intent to deprive the owner.
Georgia Law defines theft by taking in Georgia as:
When a person unlawfully takes or being in lawful possession thief 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.
Theft by taking in Georgia can be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor.
The offense of theft by taking is considered a misdemeanor when the property is worth less than $500. The penalty can include a fine up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
The offense of theft by taking will be considered a felony no matter what in the following scenarios: theft of government/bank property by an employee, theft of a gravesite/cemetery decoration, or theft of a motor vehicle/part of a motor vehicle worth more than $1,000. The penalty can include a prison sentence of one to ten years.
Moreover, theft by taking will be considered a felony when the property is worth more than $500. But in certain situations, a judge can use his or her discretion to consider the crime a misdemeanor.
For both entering auto and theft by taking, you may also be ordered by the court to pay restitution to compensate the victim or the victim's family. The victim can also bring a civil suit against you for damages.
There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply to both entering auto and theft by taking. These offenses usually go hand-in-hand. One of the most common defenses to these crimes is lack of intent. Both offenses require a specific intent to either deprive the owner or commit a theft or felony.
Your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can establish that you lacked the specific intent to suffice either of these offenses if accused. Contact us today if you have been accused of committing a Property Crime in Georgia. We will make sure that you understand all of your options.