Gwinnett County Theft Lawyer
Those accused of committing a theft offense are at risk of incurring potentially damaging penalties upon a conviction. Should you be convicted of such a crime, your life could drastically change in all aspects. Not only would you face legal repercussions, but you could also have your reputation permanently ruined. In order to avoid such consequences, consider retaining the services of a dedicated criminal attorney. A Gwinnett County theft lawyer could review the criminal charges made against you and advise you what your legal options.
Penalties of a Theft Offense
The penalties for most theft offenses vary according to the value of the property that was the subject of the theft. However, the theft of some types of property results in automatic felony charges. Theft from those who were previously convicted of a theft-related offense may also be charged with more severe penalties.
Theft of property worth $500 or less generally is a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and a fine of up to $1,000. A misdemeanor theft conviction could also require individuals to complete community service hours and pay restitution to the owner of the property.
Under O.C.G.A. § 16-8-12, theft of a property with a value of greater than $500 may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the discretion of the judge. If charged as a felony, a theft conviction may result in a prison sentence ranging from one year to ten years.
Enhancements to Theft Offenses in Gwinnett County
Depending upon the circumstances of the offense, certain theft cases would automatically be charged as a felony offense, regardless of the value of the property stolen. For example, theft of a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part worth more than $1,000 is a felony offense. Likewise, the following thefts also constitute felonies under Georgia law:
- Theft of government or bank property by an employee
- Theft of a destructive device, explosive, or firearm
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Memorials, plantings, or grave markers in cemeteries
Furthermore, if individuals commit theft by deception of property worth more than $500, and the property owner was 65 years of age or older, the offense carries the potential for a minimum of five to a maximum of ten years in prison. As enhancements to theft offenses can result in harsh punishments, individuals may consider seeking the advice of a Gwinnett County theft lawyer.
Contact a Gwinnett County Theft Attorney for Help
Theft offenses can have severe consequences, especially if it is not your first conviction. Incarceration, court-ordered restitution, community service hours, and a permanent criminal record could make it challenging to get or maintain a job, even after you have served your sentence. In this situation, it may be wise to consult with a Gwinnett County theft lawyer to explore your options.
Experienced legal counsel may be crucial to a positive outcome in your case. Rather than attempt to take matters into your own hands, rely on the skills and knowledge that only a strong legal advocate can provide you.