Having to fight criminal charges can be an intimidating experience. Instead of just the chance of having to pay damages, you could be looking at losing your freedom for a period of months or years, which could have a very negative impact on your career and your family.
If you are facing larceny charges, you need the help of an experienced Fulton County defense attorney who has worked in a variety of cases and is ready to fight on your behalf.
Larceny is one of the most common criminal charges. Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of the personal property of another person or business. Taking someone’s property by violence or the threat of violence is a serious offense, and should only be defended using a Fulton County theft attorney. Georgia law also forbids theft by deception, which is defined as obtaining property by any deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.
For example, in a case of someone being contracted to perform services for another individual, and then that person claiming that they took their money but did not provide the promised services, this should be an ordinary breach of contract case, but a prosecutor might try to define it as larceny via deceitful means. They could try so even though the law says that evidence of failure to perform standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction. A Fulton County theft lawyer can best help an individual determine the appropriate defense for their particular charge.
Importance of Intent
As in most criminal cases, the state of mind of the defendant is a crucial element. Georgia law says a person deceives if they intentionally create or confirm another’s impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false.
The Georgia Code defines depriving another individual of their property as “to withhold property of another permanently or temporarily, without justification, or to dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.”
Theft Penalties & Defense Strategies
The greater the value of the property that was taken, the tougher the penalty. If the theft is shoplifting and involves property valued at $500 or less, the crime is punishable as a misdemeanor, which involves a fine of no more than $1,000 and a sentence of imprisonment of no more than 12 months. But anything above $500 can be the basis for a felony conviction. Further, four convictions for shoplifting will turn the charge to a felony under O.C.G.A. 16-8-14.
With that said, the prosecutors must prove all elements of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They must find evidence that the alleged larceny was an intentional act, as opposed to an accident or misunderstanding. They must prove none of the testimony is hearsay, as that can be excluded from consideration. They must also defend all searches were conducted in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions.
Contacting a Lawyer
An experienced Fulton County theft attorney will review your case with care and compassion, and will bring all their intelligence, diligence, and experience to bear in order to vindicate your rights.