Fulton County Theft Lawyer
Being accused of theft is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. When facing a charge of this type, no matter if it is a misdemeanor or a felony, you should take the measures necessary for help with avoiding a conviction or minimizing the severity of the consequences.
If you have been charged with theft, consider retaining the services of a Fulton County theft lawyer. At Hawkins Spizman, our attorneys could share insight regarding the status of your case and how you should approach building a defense.
What is Theft in Georgia?
Georgia law defines theft as when a person unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the way property is taken or appropriated. Some types of theft include:
- Deception, such as by pretending to be a doctor and charging patients
- Conversion, when a person receives permission to use another’s property and takes unlawful control, such as a renter who sells the rented home
- Theft of services, in which services instead of goods are unlawfully obtained
- Lost or mislaid property, in which a person keeps the property of another whose identity they know, such as receiving and retaining a package addressed to another
- Theft by bringing stolen property into the state occurs when a person knowingly transports property stolen elsewhere
- Shoplifting is stealing merchandise from a commercial business while pretending to shop
- Extortion occurs when money or goods are obtained by forcing or threatening another
A seasoned attorney can review theft charges and advise someone on matters such as the severity of a crime and if a plea deal or trial is the better option.
The Severity of Theft Crimes
The state acts as a plaintiff and prosecutes theft crimes in Georgia. Their severity categorizes them into misdemeanors or felonies. Penalties differ depending on the theft charges the state brings against a defendant.
The least severe type of theft offense is a misdemeanor, which occurs when the value of the property involved is $500 or less. Defendants found guilty of misdemeanor thefts can be fined up to $1,000 and could be sentenced for up to twelve months in jail. If a sentence is six months or less, a judge has the discretion to allow the defendant to serve it on weekends.
A defendant may be prosecuted for a felony theft if the property involved is worth more than $500, although a judge has the discretion to categorize this theft as a misdemeanor. Some information the judge may consider is whether a theft is perpetrated against a senior citizen and if the accused person has a criminal record. Felony theft carries a one to ten-year prison sentence in Georgia. Some examples of thefts the state often prosecutes as felonies include theft of a firearm or vehicle, theft of government or bank property by an employee, and accepting money for home repair services that are not delivered. An experienced attorney can fight for a person’s legal rights from the time the charges are filed, through negotiations, and a trial if necessary.
What a Georgia Theft Attorney Looks For
All clients’ circumstances are unique. A defense attorney can thoroughly review a client’s case and determine weaknesses in the prosecution’s strategy, including challenging any circumstantial evidence and filing motions to suppress evidence that could be wrongly introduced. The goal is to make sure every client is treated fairly under the law and for theft charges to be reduced or dismissed if applicable.
How a Fulton County Theft Lawyer Can Be of Service
Your life will change drastically if the state charges you with a theft crime. Faced with fines, prison, probation, and the angst caused by having a criminal record, you need an advocate to fight for you. A Fulton County theft lawyer understands the complicated criminal law system and will know what to do to help you. Call today for your free consultation.