While theft may seem like a relatively straightforward charge, there is a long list of distinct types with differing consequences under Georgia law. In order to navigate this complex area of law, it is of paramount importance that you secure sound legal counsel from a DeKalb County theft lawyer who can defend your good name and freedoms. Look no further than the criminal defense team at Robert James Trial Attorneys. We are here to help you understand the proceedings, protect your rights, and minimize the likelihood of you facing any sort of criminal penalties for the alleged theft crimes.
Legal Definitions of Theft
Georgia law defines and prosecutes many types of theft, such as:
- Theft by taking: Unlawfully taking possession of another’s property.
- Theft of services: Receiving a service with no intention of paying for it.
- Theft by deception: Lying to get someone to give you something they otherwise would not give.
- Theft of lost property: Keeping property that you find without seeking to return it to its owner.
- Theft by conversion: Taking money from someone to accomplish an agreed upon goal and then using the money for an altogether different purpose.
- Theft by shoplifting: Failing to pay for an item taken from a store.
- Theft by extortion: Using force or threats to get someone to give you their property.
If the theft concerns less than $500 worth of property, it is considered a misdemeanor and punished with a fine up to $1,000, and sentence up to 12 months in jail. If the theft involves more than $500 worth of property, it is charged as a felony. In that case, the fine could range well into the thousands of dollars, and the jail sentence could be anywhere from 1 to 10 years.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, call Robert James Trial Attorney. You need a tough DeKalb County theft attorney on your side.
How Do You Beat a Shoplifting Charge?
If this is your first shoplifting offense, you may be able to take advantage of a diversion or pretrial program, or your DeKalb County theft attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain. In some cases, if you complete all court requirements, such as restitution and community service, your charges might be dropped completely. If there are no diversion or pretrial intervention programs available, reduced charges with lighter sentencing may be an option through a plea bargain which requires your plea of “guilty.” If you receive a second conviction for shoplifting, your fine will be a minimum of $500; if you are convicted for a third time, you will serve a minimum of 30 days in jail, with no suspension, probation, stay or withholding available.
Robert James Trial Attorneys Challenging Theft Crime Charges at Every Turn
A key to theft crime cases is intent. If you never had a criminal intent to steal an item, then there should not be any criminal charges. Prosecutors know as much and will try to steer the case away from intent, even if it means ignoring important evidence or misconstruing the situation.
Our DeKalb County theft lawyer can help prove your innocence by focusing on the intent behind the alleged theft. Many cases boil down to misunderstanding, exaggerations, and false claims. If this can be shown in your defense, you can have confidence that we have the legal know-how to bring it to light.
There is no time to lose. Contact us today for help defending your theft crime.