Theft is often considered a very serious crime in the state of Georgia. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an individual could be facing anywhere between small fines, to years of incarceration. Further, there are many different types of theft, which can be both overwhelming and difficult to understand making it essential that those accused contact an experienced Atlanta theft lawyer immediately. Only an experienced defense attorney can help to ensure that any potential penalties associated with your charge are either reduced or dismissed. En Español.

Defining Theft

Theft is appropriating property that does not belong to an individual, and taking it for their own personal gain. Theft could also mean stealing somebody else’s ideas. Further, a theft charge could mean shoplifting, which entails going to a store, concealing an item, and taking that item outside of the store. Theft is one of those charges that if it is on record, there is a strong likelihood that an individual is going to have a difficult time getting hired again by a future employer. Theft is a more serious crime due to the fact that it is considered a crime of moral turpitude that may cause problems down the road, which is another reason hiring a theft lawyer in Atlanta is so important.

Elements of the Crime

In order to prove the crime of theft, the state needs to prove that the property belonged to somebody else, and that the suspect, or the person who is being charged, took that property for their own personal gain or benefit to deprive the owner of the property of the use of it. That act can take place in many different forms. There is theft by deception, which is where an individual uses some sort of ruse to appropriate property for themselves, and theft by receiving, which is where an individual may not necessarily have taken the property themselves, but they bought property or took property that they knew, or should have known, was stolen. Finally, there is also theft by conversion which involves taking property or funds that are entrusted to someone’s possession and converting them for an individual’s own use.

Handling of a Case

There are numerous types of theft in Georgia. It could be theft of services, theft by deception, theft by conversion, and theft by receiving and shoplifting.

First, the state needs to prove that the actual theft took place; then they need to prove the amount. In a shoplifting case, theft amount less than $500 is a misdemeanor offense that can be handled in the Municipal Court of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, or any municipal court which has jurisdiction. The case can also be handled in the various state courts. In theft cases, the amount of the items has to be above $1,500 for theft of services, theft by deception, or theft by receiving to be considered a felony charge.

An Atlanta theft attorney can investigate if theft has taken place. Sometimes, an attorney can make a deal which allows the money to be paid back, and no charges to be filed. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may have caused the person to take the money to begin with.

Benefits of an Attorney

A person charged with theft in Atlanta will want to have a lawyer in order to explore whether the state can prove that the theft actually took place. Secondly, an attorney can help an individual get statements they may have made when they were compelled or coerced, thrown out of evidence based upon the involuntariness of the confession. In addition, a lawyer can find out some of the mitigating factors as to why the person may have taken the items, and possibly work out a payment plan.

An Atlanta theft attorney can perhaps get the theft charges dropped or reduced to a misdemeanor. A lawyer can negotiate with the party where the theft took place, and any potential payment plans. An Atlanta theft attorney can negotiate restitution to make sure that the money has been paid back.