MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
The State of Georgia defines motor vehicle theft as entering an automobile or other motor vehicle with intent to commit theft or felony. Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of another’s property with the intention of permanently depriving that person of her or his property. This is considered a nonviolent car theft.
Georgia also has a code that addresses violent motor vehicle theft, also known as “carjacking.” A person commits the offense of carjacking when such person while in possession of a firearm or weapon obtains a motor vehicle from the person or presence of another by force and violence or intimidation or attempts or conspires to do so.
The Statutory Punishment
Entering a motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or a felony is a felony offense, and carries with it a punishment of at least one year but no more than five years imprisonment. The trial judge, in her or his discretion, may reduce the offense to a misdemeanor.
Carjacking is a felony. A person convicted of the offense of hijacking a motor vehicle shall be punished by imprisonment for no less than ten, but not more than 20 years and a fine of no less than $10,000.00 and no more than $100,000.00. Repeat offenders could face up to life imprisonment and a fine of at least $100,000.00 but no more than $500,000.00.
Georgia takes carjacking very seriously. Not only are the sentencing guidelines tough, but the fines are very steep. Furthermore, a previous conviction in Georgia, or any other state that have laws which address carjacking could lead to life imprisonment.
Perhaps the biggest issue with Georgia’s nonviolent motor vehicle theft statute is the fact that it has the ability to reach far beyond what many would envision as typical car theft. The statute states that a person who enters into ANY vehicle (even vehicles in which the person has a lawful right to be in), with the intent to commit a felony in it can be found guilty of motor vehicle theft. People who are charged with motor vehicle theft may be perplexed on how such a charge comes about when he or she never intended to steal the vehicle. The answer, according to the State, is that the person intended to commit a felony offense when that person got in the vehicle. While the vehicle itself may have had nothing to do with the felony the person is accused of, it was used to transport the person in carrying the felony out.
Don’t leave the fate of having a criminal record or your freedom up to chance. It is the prosecutor’s job to win convictions; in court, their win is your loss. You need a competent lawyer that will fearlessly and aggressively fight for your best interests. You need to hire ROY YUNKER LAW.