Theft is a serious crime under Georgia law. Those convicted of theft-related charges could face high fines, jail time, and other serious penalties. Even a first-time misdemeanor theft conviction can result in jail time. Beyond the possibility of jail, having a criminal record can have lasting consequences. Instead of trying to defend yourself, contact a Lawrenceville theft lawyer for help. An experienced defense lawyer can protect your rights, defend you in court, and help guide you forward.
Criminal convictions, particularly for theft-related crimes, can limit future employment opportunities. With the potential for such serious consequences, facing theft charges in Lawrenceville can be frightening and overwhelming.
Types of Theft Charges
State law defines many different types of theft-related charges. Some of the most common theft and related charges committed in Lawrenceville include:
- Theft by taking
- Theft by deception
- Receiving stolen property
- Cargo theft
- Theft of services
- Armed robbery
- Grand theft auto
If someone is facing any of these charges, they should contact a Lawrenceville theft lawyer as soon as possible for help.
Another common type of theft charge in Lawrenceville is shoplifting. Georgia Code defines shoplifting as someone intentionally taking merchandise without paying for it. The law describes five actions that constitute shoplifting:
- Concealing or unlawfully possessing the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment
- Altering the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment
- Transferring the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another
- Interchanging the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise
- Wrongfully paying less than the merchant’s stated price for the merchandise
Typically, first time shoplifting convictions are misdemeanor charges as long as the property has a value of $500 or less. A first conviction can lead to a $1,000 fine and a jail sentence up to 12 months.
Subsequent shoplifting charges can result in increased penalties. A fourth shoplifting conviction is a felony regardless of the property value, and can result in a long-term prison sentence making it important that a Lawrenceville theft attorney is consulted.
Penalties for Convictions
Every Lawrenceville theft charge carries specific penalties upon conviction. Penalties can range from fines to long jail sentences, depending on the severity of the crime. Some theft charges are considered less severe, and are categorized as misdemeanors.
Though misdemeanor charges may carry somewhat lighter penalties upon convicted, they should still be treated seriously. Misdemeanor penalties can include fines up to $1,000 and jail sentences up to 12 months. Felony penalties can be significantly harsher.
Generally, the difference between a misdemeanor theft charge and a felony theft charge is the value of the property in question. If the property has a value of $500 or less, the theft charge will likely be a misdemeanor. If the property has a value over $500, the charge will likely be a felony.
Consult with a Lawrenceville Theft Attorney
No matter what theft charge you may face, it is important to contact a theft lawyer. Calling an attorney is your best chance at reducing your charges and avoiding serious penalties. Contact a Lawrenceville theft attorney today if you are facing charges. Skilled lawyers will do their best to help you avoid conviction, and minimize the impact of the charges on your life.