The applicable penalties for theft offenses are stringent. Accused individuals must take their situations seriously and secure a strong legal defense. From lengthy jail terms to hefty fines and restitution requirements, the ramifications of a guilty finding can be long-lasting and devastating to a defendant’s prospects and fortune.
If you find yourself confronted by any type of theft crime allegation in Georgia, a Gwinnett County theft lawyer is prepared to work hard on your behalf and provide the defensive strategies you need and deserve.
Theft Related Crimes
The basic definition of theft describes the general offense as an unlawful taking, possession, or appropriation of another individual’s property with the intent to deprive that individual of the property.
Beyond this broad articulation, the Georgia legislature has specifically delineated a series of distinct acts capable of bringing significant sanctions to those convicted of committing them, including:
- Theft by deception or fraud
- Theft by conversion, in which property that was lawfully obtained is kept with an intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession
- Theft by receipt of stolen goods
- Theft of services
- Theft by extortion
- Theft via shoplifting
- Theft of mislaid or lost property
Misdemeanor and Felony Classification
Apart from shoplifting, a category that has its own punishment structure, instances of theft which involve goods or services worth no more than $1,500 will be considered misdemeanor offenses in Georgia. These have the potential to bring maximum fines of up to $1,000 and no more than one year in jail.
However, offenses which implicate goods or services greater than $1,500 in value can, at the discretion of the judge, be classified as felonies capable of bringing between one to 20 years’ imprisonment. There are additional offenses which, regardless of property value involved, may be punished as felonies under Georgia law, that can be properly defended using an experienced Gwinnett County theft lawyer. These particular offenses include:
- Employee theft of bank or government property
- Theft that involves a fiduciary breach
- Theft of motor vehicle or component worth at least $100
- Theft of explosives, firearms or other destructive items
- Theft accomplished via computer, telemarketing or home repair endeavor
- Theft of anhydrous ammonia
The negative implications of theft crime convictions on those who suffer them typically extend far beyond the obvious consequences of jail terms, monetary fines, probation expenses, lost wages, and restitution requirements.
Anyone with a criminal record that includes convictions for theft will likely face significant challenges in terms of obtaining employment, passing background checks and generally leading a productive life free from harmful social stigma.
Immigration statuses, professional licenses, and personal reputations are all at stake in any theft prosecution, and it is therefore recommended for accused individuals to contact a dedicated attorney from Gwinnett County from the start.
Contacting an Attorney
Those accused of criminal offenses in Georgia must take pains to remember that allegations do not always result in conviction, and they are entitled to contest the prosecution’s case from every possible angle.
If you have been charged with an offense in this category and wish to safeguard your rights as well as your future, a Gwinnett County theft lawyer is ready and willing to assist.