The crime of theft involves the unlawful taking of another person’s property and there are varying degrees of theft crimes in Georgia. The courts treat some thefts as felonies and others as misdemeanors, depending on the value of the goods or money stolen and whether the defendant has any prior convictions.
Regardless of the severity of the alleged crime, if you are facing charges of theft, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A DeKalb County theft lawyer could help protect your future by working with you to get the charges dismissed or the penalties reduced.
Under Georgia law, theft occurs when a person takes, or is in possession of, another person’s property intending to permanently deprive that other person of their property. Some of the more common theft crimes are as follows:
A DeKalb County theft attorney has the experience necessary to aggressively defend a person against any type of theft charges by advising the defendant of the feasible options and creating an effective legal strategy.
There are several degrees of theft in Georgia. It can involve something as minor as a teenager shoplifting a pack of gum from a convenience store or as significant as a group of people committing armed robbery. When the value of the stolen property is less than $500, courts treat the offense as a misdemeanor. With a misdemeanor conviction, a defendant could face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a one-year prison sentence. If the value of the stolen property is more than $500, prosecutors can charge a defendant with a felony theft. Felony convictions can carry up to a ten-year prison sentence. If the defendant is a repeat offender, misdemeanor charges may be upgraded to felony charges, and the defendant could face more severe penalties. A local theft lawyer could argue for more lenient sentences if this is someone’s first offense.
In addition to criminal punishments, there are other long-lasting negative impacts of a theft conviction. The stigma of a conviction and a resulting permanent criminal record could damage a defendant’s personal and professional reputation. As a convicted offender, it could be challenging to find a job or obtain a loan, so it is crucial to reach out for local legal assistance as soon as possible.
The definition of theft is broad enough that it could lead to a simple misunderstanding being misconstrued as a criminal act. If you are facing theft charges, you are likely apprehensive and worried about your future. Put your trust into a DeKalb County theft lawyer who could stand up for your rights and defend your future. Discuss your case with a legal advocate today.