Dunwoody Theft Lawyer
Stealing something may seem like a minor offense, but Georgia takes allegations of theft very seriously, and the state’s theft crimes cover a wide range of activities. The penalties for a theft conviction can be serious, especially if there is a prior criminal history of theft or the value of the property allegedly taken is significant. The experienced Dunwoody theft lawyers at Hawkins Spizman have defended many clients in Georgia accused of theft and are prepared to provide you with a skilled defense for your case. To learn more, call or contact our office in Dunwoody to schedule a free consultation.
Georgia Theft Laws
Georgia theft laws encompass a wide range of criminal acts under one umbrella term. Generally speaking, Georgia defines theft as the taking or converting of another person’s property or services with the intent of depriving the lawful owner of their possession, use, or rights to that property. Theft can occur with money, goods, services, land, and anything else of value. In addition, the taking of property does not have to be permanent in order for someone to be arrested for theft. The temporary taking of another person’s property is enough to qualify as theft in Georgia, even if the stolen property is returned or disposed of by the taker.
Penalties for a Theft Conviction
The penalties for a theft conviction are determined by the value of the property taken as well as any prior history of theft convictions and can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. Theft of property valued less than $1,500 is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, fines, and restitution. However, if a person has two or more prior convictions for misdemeanor theft, the third conviction is considered a felony, but the state can charge it as either a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Theft crimes with property valued between $1,500 and $25,000 are considered “wobbler” offenses, which means that the state can either charge them as misdemeanors or felony offenses. The state often considers both the value of the stolen property and criminal history when determining how to charge these crimes. If charged as a felony, penalties include between one to five years in prison for theft between $1,500 and $5,000, and one to ten years in prison for theft between $5,000 and $25,000 along with fines, fees, and restitution.
Many theft crimes are felony offenses, and penalties can range from one to 25 years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, a permanent criminal record, court fees, restitution, probation, and other conditions for release. Some of the most common felony theft crimes include the following:
- Theft of property over $25,000
- Theft of property involving a breach of fiduciary duty
- Theft by deception of property over $500 where the victim is 65 years old or older
- Theft of a firearm, explosive, or destructive device
- Theft by extortion
- Theft of trade secrets valued over $100
Contact Our Office
To learn more about your legal options after an accusation of theft in Georgia, call or contact Hawkins Spizman in Dunwoody today to schedule a free evaluation of your case.