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.