Entering an Automobile in Georgia
Usually, people under indictment for this offense are accused of breaking into cars to steal property. The State does not have to prove they actually stole anything, just that they had the intent to steal property when entering into the car.
But it was my own car?
Interestingly enough, a person can be charged with entering into their own vehicle to commit a theft or felony. The State does not have to establish lack of authority to enter a car because the statute makes no distinction between authorized and unauthorized entry.
This means you, as a defendant, could be accused of Entering an Automobile if the State alleges you entered your own car with the intent to, say, steal the laptop your friend left in your car. Once again, the State would not have to prove you actually stole the laptop, only that you intended to commit steal it.
Remember the law defines Entering an Automobile as entering a car with the intent to commit a theft or felony. This would contemplate a scenario in which someone entering a car (either their own or someone else’s) to commit rape, murder, aggravated assault, etc.
What’s My Defense?
The law defines Entering by Automobile as a felony or a misdemeanor at the judge’s discretion. This is important because it means your attorney, in the context of a negotiated plea, can (and should) ask the judge for misdemeanor sentencing, thus allowing you to avoid felony conviction (or wasting your first offender on what could’ve been a misdemeanor).
If you or someone you know has been charged with entering an automobile contact our office today for a free consultation.
by Sarah Armstrong