The FBI reported over 2,000 property crimes per 100,000 people. One of the most common property crimes in America is theft. Next to it are burglary and motor vehicle theft.
Understanding the laws and possible penalties can help someone face the charges. These laws protect the safety and welfare of the public. These potential penalties help encourage the public to obey the law.
Are there theft charges related to you in Georgia? Read this guide to understand the different types of theft crimes in the Empire State of the South.
What Are Theft Crimes?
In 2019, there was an estimate of over 5,000,000 theft cases in America. These theft crimes include purse snatching and pick-pocketing. It also involves taking motor vehicle accessories and bicycles.
Theft is when someone takes another person’s property without permission. It can also include taking services that deprive the owner. Theft intends to take something without force or violence.
Larceny is a type of theft. It may involve taking someone’s money, labor, or personal property. In America, its definition will depend on the state.
Georgia considers theft by taking as one of the most common types of theft. This action deprives the victim of their property.
Georgia Theft Laws
In Georgia, theft involves properties with $500 or less in value. The state considers these crimes as a misdemeanor. The stolen items that exceed $500 in value receive grand theft or felony charges.
The value comes from the market price of the stolen item. The value may also change depending on the owner’s experience buying them. It also depends on the jury’s awareness of the item’s current price or value.
A defendant may use witness testimonies in court. The lawyer can use these statements to help fight the theft charges.
Borrowing also does not count as theft. It happens when someone borrows a property intending to return it.
Types of Theft
Theft by deception is one of the types of theft offenses in Georgia. A person commits this crime when they use dishonest means to take something. These actions may result in depriving the owner of the property.
A person deceives if they promise a performance or service without the intention of doing it. They commit deception by stating false information about an item they are selling. A person who fails to correct wrong information of past events commits deceit.
Shoplifting is another form of theft. A person may commit this offense alone or with another person. The intent is to take merchandise without paying.
Concealing and taking goods from a retail establishment is theft. Altering the price tag or other price marking on goods also falls under theft. It also includes interchanging the labels of goods in a retail establishment.
When a person transfers goods to another container, they are committing theft. It also includes paying less than the retail establishment’s stated price.
People who divert funds given to them for personal use commit theft. This offense is theft by conversion. Offenders usually serve as the officer or treasurer of a business or an organization.
In Georgia, a person who fails to pay on an account upon demand commits theft. It happens when an employee uses the funds or properties for personal use.
Extortion is also one of the theft crimes in Georgia. Here, a person attempts to get money using threats or violence.
Penalties for Petty Theft
In Georgia, the penalty for theft depends on the type and severity of the crime. These punishments can include fines, jail time, or even both. Knowing these crimes helps a person understand the penalties that come with them.
A misdemeanor is a crime that the law considers less severe. The punishments for these crimes are usually less than that of a felony. The effect of the crime on society determines the degree of the crime.
Petty theft classifies as a misdemeanor in Georgia. It usually involves an item with a value of $500 or less.
The definition of the crime does not depend on the manner. The penalties for these misdemeanors could be fines or community service. The charges could also be imprisonment for more extreme charges.
For first-time offenders, community service is a common punishment. They also need to attend counseling programs. Their charges also depend on whether they have a felony on their records.
Defendants may also receive a lawsuit from the victims. It can lead to court decisions that award compensation to the victims. These lawsuits can cause extra legal costs to the defendant.
Hiring a theft defense lawyer can help the defendant investigate their cases. They provide help to protect the rights of the defendant.
Penalty for a Theft Felony
A judge will determine if an offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. If the property value is more than $500, it becomes a felony. The prison sentence for a felony is usually no less than a year and not more than ten years.
Theft by a bank or government employee is a felony. If the defendant is guilty, they could face imprisonment and fines. It can be a one to fifteen-year prison sentence.
Crimes that involve a gravesite or cemetery also count as a felony. The defendants can also face imprisonment. These cases carry one to three years of a prison sentence for the defendant.
Motor vehicle theft of more than $1,000 also counts as a felony. The punishment for these cases can be imprisonment of one to ten years.
Victims of theft can also file a lawsuit. They can sue the defendant to recover monetary damages. It can include the value of the property or any loss from theft.
Know More About Theft Crimes in Georgia
These are the types of theft crimes in Georgia. Follow this guide to understand how theft laws impact society. These laws will determine the penalties and sentences for theft.
Remember that it is best to contact an experienced theft attorney after the arrest. The attorney will help you with the process of facing the charges.
Contact us if you are facing theft charges. Let us schedule an appointment or consultation today. Let us discuss the pending charges against you.
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