In Georgia, theft crimes are taken very seriously and can carry serious penalties including fines and jail time. For this reason, individuals accused of theft need to know their rights and what defenses may be available to them, and should therefore speak with an Atlanta theft attorney as soon as possible to improve their chances of success.
A criminal lawyer in Atlanta with experience with theft cases offers the best opportunity to minimize the impact the theft charge or a theft conviction will have on your life whether it is short term consequences like jail time or long term consequences like having a criminal record in the future. To learn more about what can be done for you, call today.
Theft comes in many varieties, however, the common thread of theft crimes is an intention to deprive an owner of their property. Types of theft charges include:
Theft comes in many types from simple to serious charges such as robbery, armed robbery, hijacking, and home invasion. Whether a person is facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, it is important to consult with a theft attorney in Atlanta to discuss the various options at your disposal, the defenses available, and the possible consequences that will arise if a person is charged with a theft case in Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, or any of the other surrounding counties around Atlanta, Georgia.
Theft is where a person or a group of persons takes or are in possession of property of someone else and they intend to deprive that person of that property. There are a range of crimes with different types of thefts, but the common thread is the intention to the property owner who is robbed.
The common thread is the intent to deprive the property of another person, which can be any person other than a person the accused has interest in. So property belonging to a spouse wouldn’t constitute theft in most cases. To appropriate means to make it your own and exercise the dominion or control over an object to the extent of making use of it for your own pleasure.
In Atlanta, the standard of proof is beyond reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard under Georgia law and under the law in this country. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a high burden for the prosecution to overcome. Our clients are often surprised when they learn how great this burden actually is for the prosecution. In what might seem like a hopeless case, a defense attorney can exploit a weakness or a crack in the prosecution’s case, create reasonable doubt, and get the not guilty verdict for someone charged with theft.
Theft is viewed as a serious charge by both law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and by the community as a whole. It is a crime of dishonesty, and a conviction can therefore affect future employment possibilities since trust and honesty are two of the most important traits that employers often seek in their employees. Additionally, a conviction for theft can follow a person around in their criminal history for the rest of their life and will not go away on it’s own over time. For these reasons, it is important that if accused of theft that you do everything you can to fight the charge immediately with the help of a theft lawyer in Atlanta.
Intent to deprive is the common thread in most theft cases, and it is also the most common way to attack the theft charge. If the lawyer is able to convince the jury that the client did not have the intent to deprive, then not guilty is the appropriate verdict in the case. To deprive in Georgia means without justification, a person held the property of another permanently or temporarily. It also means to dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover.
In a situation where a person takes something which is someone else’s, keeps it and does not give it back, or perhaps conceals it in a place where the owner won’t be able to find it, there is an intent to deprive, which means the person who owns the property is not going to get it back. For burglary cases and robbery cases, identification always comes into play. Challenging police lineups is a way to attack identification of the crime. Beyond identification there is evidence such as physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and direct evidence that is crucial to evaluate. If an attorney can attack the weakness of that evidence, that evidence can be excluded from trial.
Yates and Wheland has over twenty years experience handling theft cases. We have resolved countless theft cases successfully for our clients whether they are facing felony theft charges in Superior Court or something as small as a shoplifting charge in a municipal or state court. Our Atlanta theft lawyers know the courthouses, the judges, and the prosecutors in the Atlanta area. We have the experience to benefit you as a theft client.
We also don’t pressure you into hiring us and will offer our honest perspective about what should be done to get the best outcome from the unfortunate experience of facing criminal charges. Call today to speak to an attorney on a no cost basis.
By: Jonathan A.
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