Entering an Automobile in Georgia

Entering an automobile is a theft crime under Georgia law. It is defined as the entering of any automobile or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony.

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