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Carrollton Theft Lawyer

Those accused of theft may face the consequences of a criminal conviction. Any sort of offense involving dishonesty, including theft, can affect your future job prospects, higher education choices, and future career. You may be able to take steps to minimize the allegations against you and their effects on your life by contacting a Carrollton theft lawyer for assistance. A skilled defense attorney could help you build your case against the prosecution.

Legal Definition of Theft

Laws in O.C.G.A. § 16-8-2 define theft as when individuals unlawfully take or appropriate others’ property with the intent of depriving them of the property. This is the most common type of theft, but there also are various specific theft charges, including:

  • Theft by deception
  • Theft by conversion
  • Theft by shoplifting
  • Theft by bringing stolen property into the state

Theft by shoplifting is another common theft crime and is a misdemeanor when the value of the goods is $300 or less. If the value of the goods is more than $300, or the property is taken from three different stores in the same county within a seven-day period, the shoplifting offense becomes a felony.

A felony shoplifting theft conviction is punishable by one to ten years of incarceration. Although a shoplifting charge may initially seem quite minor, it can quickly become a much larger problem when it stays on a criminal record and affects future job prospects. A Carrollton theft lawyer may be able to assist with mitigating an individual’s future consequences because of the charge.

Penalties for Theft

The penalties for a theft misdemeanor may include a fine of up $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Individuals also may have to perform community service or pay restitution to those whose property they stole from. If the court imposes a sentence of six months or less, individuals may be able to serve that time on weekends or during non-working hours.

If, however, the theft involves property valued at greater than $300, the charge may either be judged a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony charge can result in a jail sentence ranging from one to ten years.

Some types of theft are automatically classified as felonies. These may include:

  • An employee stealing from a government or bank property
  • Stealing a motor vehicle or a part of a motor vehicle worth more than $1,000
  • Stealing a destructive device or explosive
  • Stealing a firearm

Penalties for these crimes vary according to the nature and value of the property stolen but typically will have a minimum jail sentence of one year. In addition to whatever penalties individuals receive for a criminal conviction, there may be civil penalties. The individuals from whom the property was taken can sue offenders for damages, which include compensation for the value of the property taken and liquidated exemplary damages in the amount of $150, twice the value of the loss if under $5,000, or the costs of bringing suit. The penalties for theft are severe, therefore, a defendant should enlist the help of a seasoned lawyer.

Work with a Carrollton Theft Attorney

A theft charge, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can be a frightening prospect when prospects for job opportunities and personal relationships are taken into account. Working to minimize the consequences of theft charges on your life is the goal when facing such charges.

You could work with a Carrollton theft lawyer to build a strong defense against the accusations of theft to reach a favorable outcome. Call today to determine your legal options and begin strategizing with a dedicated attorney.