Category Archives: Theft

Georgia Theft Laws Carry Punishments of Fines and Jail Time – Legal Representation is Critical

Under Georgia law there are many kinds of theft that carry punishments of both fines and jail time. Georgia theft laws are a direct reflection on how serious the State is about prosecuting those convicted of theft. In Georgia theft refers to taking possessions or services unlawfully without payment or permission. The theft can include physical items, charging for a service that was never completed, not paying for a service that was done for you, theft of a company’s trade secrets, keeping a lost item that you found, and numerous other acts of “stealing” under Georgia theft laws.

What is the Difference between Misdemeanor and Felony Theft?

Under Georgia statutes, Georgia theft laws describe the various types of theft and the penalties associated with them. With complex state laws and legal processes it is critical to retain legal counsel to represent you with prosecution of these serious crimes. All Georgia theft is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony crime. A theft is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property or service is $500 or less, with penalties of fines up to $1,000 and up to 1-year in prison. Georgia theft becomes a felony when the value of the property or service stolen is worth more than $500, with the sentence no less than 1-year and no more than 10-years in prison. Some of the more common types of Georgia theft include:

What are the Different Types of Georgia Theft?

  • Theft by taking: This means that a person unlawfully took possession of any item or piece of property that belongs to another. It does not matter how the item was taken. This is the simplest form of Georgia theft, and if you have another person’s property and deprive them of it you can be charged and found guilty of theft by taking.
  • Theft by deception: This means that you were able to get something from another by deceitful means. This includes billing someone for a service that was not done, accepting payment for something you know will not be done, or selling property or an item without disclosing that there is a lien or loan still on it. Georgia theft by deception is more complex due to the intention of theft involved to deceive another out of their property or money which may involve confirming another’s wrong assumption about a fact or event when you know it is wrong.
  • Theft by conversion: Georgia theft by conversion means that you took someone’s money to apply it in some manner for them, such as a deposit or payment, and instead you used it for your own purposes. For example, an officer or an employee of a government or financial institution does not apply your payment to the intended account, but rather, pockets the money for their own use. In addition, Georgia theft by conversion also applies to rental property that you are using; if you do not return such property when the owner demands it back then you have committed theft by conversion.
  • Theft of services: In Georgia theft of services involves receiving a service, entertainment or an accommodation with no intention of paying for it. This includes not paying for maid service, not paying for a hotel room or meal, or item that requires payment of some sort. Georgia theft law ensures that service providers are able to collect the fee they are due by making the theft of services a crime.
  • Theft by receiving stolen property: This type of theft is a crime which involves receiving stolen goods whether or not you are aware that they are stolen. You have committed a Georgia theft crime if you receive, get rid of, or keep property that you know or should know is stolen.
  • Theft of lost or mislaid property: Many people may not realize that this is a crime under Georgia theft law. If, for example, you find a lost wallet and make no effort to return it to its rightful owner, then you have now committed theft of lost or mislaid property. Effort needs to be made to return the property under the law.
  • Shoplifting: Shoplifting has its own specific punishments under Georgia theft law. Shoplifting includes any attempt to conceal an item, change the listed price, or failing to pay in full for an item removed from a store. Unlike the other Georgia theft crimes, a misdemeanor conviction involves stealing an item under $300; a felony shoplifting conviction involves stealing items that are worth more than $300.
  • Other types of Georgia theft include theft of trade secrets, theft by extortion, livestock theft, theft for taking stolen property out of or into the state, and theft for receiving property stolen in another state. All types of Georgia theft require expert legal representation to successful plead your case or reduce charges and penalties. Georgia theft law is strict and you need an attorney that knows the statues and proceedings within the Georgia court system.

Atlanta Theft Attorney

Get the expert legal counsel you need at a time like this. Georgia theft and shoplifting laws are stringent and are enforced according to the law. Call your Atlanta theft attorney Lisa Wells for your theft or shoplifting charge. Schedule a free consultation visit to go over your specific situation and Georgia theft charges and put an expert on your side.

Conviction of a Georgia Burglary Carries Severe Penalties

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia burglary statistics for 2011 show that there were 94,044 burglaries reported, with Georgia burglary accounting for 24.30% of reported crimes. There is a Georgia burglary rate of 958.1 per every 100,000 residents. In the State of Georgia, burglary is the act of entering or remaining in any type of structure, building or vehicle without permission and with the intent of committing a felony.

Georgia Burglary Sentences

Burglary is a crime taken very seriously in Georgia and the severity of the penalty with conviction depends on whether you are charged with 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree burglary. Even if the act of burglary is not completed and you are charged with criminal attempt, the penalty is based on the originally intended crime. Penalties for Atlanta burglary can range from a fine to probation, to a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 20 years in prison. For a 1st Georgia burglary conviction the judge may sentence you from 1-20 years, for a 2nd conviction you face 2-20 years, and for a 3rd conviction the penalty is 5-20 years – Georgia law requires the minimum jail term be served if convicted.

Types of Atlanta Burglary Convictions

  • First Degree Burglary: This term describes the crime as unlawfully entering a private home, structure, boat, vehicle, etc., where the person intends to commit a crime against the property or the person/people in the property. First degree Atlanta burglary is a Class A felony and carries more severe punishments.
  • Second Degree Burglary: This type of burglary involves entering and theft from a business or commercial property. While theft can be petty theft or grand larceny, the conviction of burglary deals specifically with the act of unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime.
  • Third Degree Burglary: This term includes entering a home, a business, a private or commercial structure with the intent to steal or to commit other felonies. The issue of intent may be a defense strategy used by your Atlanta burglary attorney in that you may have had a legal purpose for being present on the property or that you did not have initial intent when you entered the building.

Very often the difference between being charged with a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree Atlanta burglary depends on if anyone was in the home or business, the presence or use of a weapon, and the type of tools used to gain access to the building, as well as the type of establishment (i.e., bank or financial institution, pharmacy with the intent to steal narcotics). If you have been arrested for an Atlanta burglary you need immediate expert criminal representation to protect your rights and to begin the stages of defense – call your Atlanta Georgia burglary attorney Lisa Wells for the legal defense strategies that you need.

Atlanta Burglary Attorney

Retaining a qualified experienced Georgia burglary attorney is of the utmost importance. You need a criminal defense lawyer who understands the Georgia legal system, State of Georgia Court proceedings and how to develop the best defense strategy for your case. You may be able to negotiate a plea agreement, be able to reduce the degree and type of crime charged against you, have evidence ruled inadmissible, or successfully present your defense to the Court where charges are dismissed or significantly reduced.

The Atlanta burglary criminal defense attorney to call is Lisa Wells – every case is different, and each defense strategy needs to be customized to the specific situation and extenuating circumstances. If you are facing Georgia burglary charges, call today to set up an initial consultation visit. Your life and your future hang in the balance – your choice of a criminal defense attorney can have life-altering consequences and hardships for both you and your family – Make the call!

Thieves Guaranteed Due Process in U.S. Constitution

In what may have been an attempt to profit from the upcoming Super Bowl game and the parties associated with it, two men were arrested recently for stealing $65,000 worth of frozen chicken wings from their cold storage employer using a forklift and a rental truck, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The men may have been motivated by recent media coverage indicating a possible chicken wing shortage, such as the story on ABC News. It seems funny, but in Georgia this is a felony offense because what was taken was worth more than $5,000 according to the 2012 legislative session regarding Georgia Theft Statutes. The reporter indicated that the whereabouts of the chicken wings was unknown, so apparently the thieves were not caught quickly enough to immediately return the frozen wings to the employer’s cold storage facility.

Sometimes good people do bad things. Not every thief is an awful person. Sometimes people are coerced to commit a crime by threats of bodily harm to themselves or a loved one, or blackmailed some other way. Occasionally people will take something they believe belongs to them and sometimes people are wrongly accused of theft. In the United States our constitution gives us the right to due process of law. Defense attorneys are trained to be an advocate for the accused person. The attorney will ask the defendant very specific questions and seek necessary evidence to disprove all or portions of the charges. By telling the complete truth to the defense attorney, the accused has a much better chance of finding favor with a jury and a judge during criminal proceedings, which can result in a not guilty verdict or a lesser charge.

If you are facing criminal theft charges you will be questioned by police, a prosecution attorney, and a judge. It is in your best interest not to speak to anyone but your attorney about the details of your arrest. You need someone who will be on your side to help tell your account of what really happened. Schedule a free consultation with Atlanta theft attorney Lisa Wells if you’re facing a criminal charge. She has the training and experience to provide you with excellent representation.

Is Georgia Scout Mom Guilty of Theft by Conversion?

Is an East Point, GA Girl Scout Mom Guilty of Theft by Conversion?

When Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low created the organization in Savannah, Georgia in 1912, she could hardly have imagined the organization it is today. Ranked as the “8th most popular charity/non-profit in America”, the annual cookie sale helps to fund the programs designed to prepare young women for adulthood by building confidence and character. It’s a multi-million dollar business.

Unfortunately, a large part of the annual fundraiser involves untrained adult volunteers who are placed in positions of trust with little to no oversight, potentially exposing them to accusations of theft when funds are unaccounted for. Martinya Deloatch discovered this when troop leader Traci Harden accused her of not delivering cookie sales proceeds to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta in March as she was supposed to. Deloatch, in charge of collecting the funds and delivering the money, denies the charge, according to a CBS Atlanta report.

But was it Really Theft? Consult With an Experienced Georgia Criminal Law Defense Lawyer

Ms. Deloatch maintains that she handed the funds over to a third party who failed to deliver the funds properly, but she should still consult with an experienced Georgia criminal law defense lawyer for help documenting evidence that backs her claim in order to get charges reduced or dropped altogether.

Theft by Conversion, defined by Georgia Code 16-8-4 as obtaining funds for one purpose and converting them for personal use, carries serious punishment. Ms. Deloatch is accused of stealing nearly $5,000, a felony under Georgia’s recently revised theft statutes. Effective last year, punishment is divided into tiers, based on amount taken and the number of previous offenses: a misdemeanor charge for amounts or value under $1500; differing degrees of felony over that amount. If Ms. Deloatch is convicted, she may face one to five years of incarceration and fines as well as community service and theft class. The judge does, however, have the discretion to treat the crime as a misdemeanor.

Contact Atlanta theft attorney Lisa Wells at the law office of Glenn Loewenthal, P.C. if you’ve been accused of theft in the greater metro Atlanta vicinity. She’ll prepare a persuasive case that explains what really happened based on careful investigation of the alleged incident.

We urge you to seek legal counsel whenever you are accused of a crime of theft. Don’t depend on getting fair treatment from those who are prosecuting you. Their goal is to seek the maximum sentence for your punishment. We’ll attempt to mitigate by introducing extenuating circumstances and other possible explanations. Atlanta criminal defense attorney Lisa Wells takes a personal interest in every case she accepts and her experience with the Clayton County Georgia Office of the District Attorney gives her an insider’s understanding of how to approach a theft defense. Call today and schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and your options.

Is it Time to Reconsider Georgia’s “Seven Deadly Sins” Law?

Bill May Allow Greater Sentencing Flexibility for Those Convicted Under GA’s Seven Deadly Sins Law

Georgia carries out the harshest punishments in the nation for seven crimes: murder, rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, kidnapping, or armed robbery. The 18-year-old “Seven Deadly Sins” law mandated mandatory sentences that range from ten years to life. One hundred percent of the sentence must be served.

Lawmakers are being asked to take a second look at the law to allow the courts some flexibility in sentencing, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an article that uses the story of Sarah Page Dukes as the catalyst that finally spoke to enough people over growing concerns that the law is too draconian.

Dukes became addicted to heroin in high school, even though she’d been a promising Sutton Middle School star student. As she became more addicted, she began stealing to support her habit, eventually turning to armed robbery. She eventually robbed her former employer’s store, but even he could see that Sarah needed rehabilitation and petitioned the court, pointing out that incarceration would not benefit her or anyone else and would “only insure that Ms. Dukes revert to drug addiction upon her release.”

Ms. Dukes’ plea deal fell through and she was sentenced under Georgia’s Seven Deadly Sins Law: ten years in prison with no possibility of parole. Now drug-free, Sarah has used the time well, having discovered a talent for teaching other inmates, helping them to earn their GEDs.

Accused of One of the “Seven Deadly Sins” in Georgia? Talk to an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney

No matter what your stand is on the get-tough law, Georgia taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars to keep convicted felons in prison. When prison budgets (1.1 Billion) strain the State coffers to keep non-violent offenders incarcerated, no-one wins.

If you’ve been accused of one of the 7 deadly sins in Georgia, you need representation from an Atlanta criminal defense attorney with ample experience defending clients accused of a felony crime.

The District Attorney has discretion whether or not to press charges, but his or her job is to seek the maximum punishment for your crime. You need an attorney who knows how to present a convincing argument to the jury while at the same time creating enough question that the DA’s case is based on conjecture and supposition.

Atlanta crime lawyer Lisa Wells works hard to get your charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. We’ll hire independent investigators, when necessary, who will re-examine the evidence, including witness statements, and question arrest procedure and the validity of searches, always seeking a “not guilty” verdict.

Don’t give statements or meet with the DA before speaking with defense attorney Lisa Wells. She also assists attorneys from other parts of the state, knowing that a skilled defense team that shares resources is usually able to obtain optimal results. Call today for a free, confidential initial consultation and evaluation of your charges.

False Imprisonment is a Violation of Your 4th Amendment Rights

In the State of Georgia, the law dealing with false imprisonment has been changed so that those who are falsely imprisoned may now hold the business or person responsible for violation of their constitutional rights. False imprisonment includes the arrest, confinement or detainment of a person without legal authority.

Georgia False Imprisonment Charges May be Made Against Anyone

False imprisonment charges can be made against anyone who illegally detains or confines you. The person being charged does not have to be a police or security officer. The law applies to anyone who stops or detains you, including a business owner, a debt collector, an employee at a public or private business, a grocery store manager or even a taxi cab driver. While a police officer may make a false arrest for DUI or theft and confine you in a holding cell, a business owner may confine you in an office against your will.

Time Limit Restrictions for Atlanta False Imprisonment Charges

According to Black’s Law Dictionary Atlanta’s false imprisonment or false arrest charges have a limited time frame in which to file a claim or forfeit their right to any type of compensation or award. The false imprisonment charge is generally made against the specific person or people that illegally detained you. In a false arrest or imprisonment charge the typical conclusion results in monetary compensation.

Gathering Evidence Quickly is Critical to Prove False Arrest

In any false arrest or imprisonment claim retaining an Atlanta false arrest attorney immediately is necessary to successfully make the charge stand up under legal scrutiny. Evidence and witness statements need to be found or discovered to back up your claim. With changes in Georgia law the accuser or the one who falsely detained you must prove reasonable cause and proper behavior for their actions.

The authority or person who falsely imprisoned you does have the right to briefly detain you, however they do not have the right to physically detain you, threaten you with harm or public embarrassment, subject you to emotional distress, confine you or refuse to call the local authorities who would have precedence in that matter. Acting quickly to retain a well qualified Atlanta criminal lawyer in false arrest cases increases the ability to find and gather needed evidence to prove your claim.

Criteria for Legal Georgia Arrest and Imprisonment

An experienced criminal attorney knows how to prepare for a case where compensation for violation of your 4th amendment rights has occurred. Evaluating the evidence for a legal detainment or false arrest includes whether the accuser personally observed you take an item and leave the store without paying for it. The person detaining you must have personally seen you take the item or used store security cameras to “catch” you in the act; you cannot be detained because you are suspected of theft or other crime.

When you are charged with DUI specific criteria must be followed or the case can be dismissed in court. False imprisonment can be made for theft, DUI, violence, damage to property, use of illegal substances and the like. All detainments need evidence to be supplied or a false imprisonment charge can be made.

Atlanta False Imprisonment Attorney

In the State of Georgia, false arrest and imprisonment is a criminal offense. If you have been falsely accused of a crime and feel your rights have been violated, call the expert in Atlanta false arrest – Make your first call to Lisa Wells, the Georgia false imprisonment attorney with a long history of successful criminal litigation and compensation awards.