In general, the crime of theft refers to an unlawful taking or possession of another person’s property. To be charged with theft in Georgia, the law also requires that you intend to deprive the other person of the stolen property. Because the manner in which the property is taken is unimportant, there are various categories of theft that include theft by taking, theft by deception, theft by receiving stolen property, and theft by conversion. Additionally, shoplifting and theft of services are other types of theft under Georgia law.
What are the most common categories of theft under Georgia law?
Theft by taking is what most people think of when they think of theft. It is the unlawful taking another person’s property with the intent to deprive the other person of the stolen property. Theft by deceptionis a more deceitful type of theft. It is the theft of another person’s property by use of deceitful means to deprive the person of the stolen property. Theft by receiving stolen property occurs when a person receives property that he either knew or should have known was stolen property. Theft by conversionoccurs when a person lawfully obtains another person’s property and then unlawfully converts it to his own use.
What is the punishment for theft?
Generally, theft is punished as a misdemeanor. That means that if you’re convicted of theft, you’ll be facing up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. However, depending upon the value of the stolen property as well as your criminal record, you could face increased punishment. If the value of the stolen property is over $5,000, you could be facing one to 20 years imprisonment. Additionally, upon your third or subsequent conviction for theft, you could be faced with one to five years imprisonment.
Theft—even if it’s charged as a misdemeanor—is a crime of distrust. Accordingly, a theft conviction can leave a big blemish on your criminal record and disqualify you from employment, education, financial assistance and housing opportunities.
Don’t let a theft charge rob you of future opportunities! The experienced criminal defense attorneys of The Turner Firm can help. Call us today for a no-cost assessment of your case.