Everything You Need To Know About Georgia Property Crimes

by | Dec 27, 2021

Understanding Property Crimes in Georgia

 

In Georgia’s criminal law, “theft” refers to several different crimes. The most simple and most common is theft by taking.

Here’s how Georgia law defines theft by taking:

“A person commits the offense of theft by taking when he 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 manner in which the property is taken or appropriated.”

However, depending on the circumstances, you might be charged with a more specific type of theft, including the following:

  • Theft by deception
  • Theft by conversion
  • Theft of services
  • Theft by shoplifting
  • Theft by extortion
  • Theft by receiving stolen property

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand exactly which type of theft you’re being charged with. However, the elements and potential penalties are largely the same for each type.

 

Penalties for Property Crimes in Georgia

 

The penalties for property crimes in Georgia depend on the value of the stolen property and the specific type of theft. Generally, the higher the value of the stolen property, the more severe the punishment will be. Here’s an overview of some common property crimes and their potential penalties:

  • Theft by taking: If the stolen property is worth less than $500, it is considered a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the value is between $500 and $1,500, it is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison. For property valued at over $1,500, the penalty increases to one to ten years in prison.
  • Theft by deception: This offense carries the same penalties as theft by taking if the value of the property is under $1,500. However, if the value exceeds $1,500, it becomes a felony punishable by one to ten years in prison.
  • Theft of services: If the value of the stolen services is under $500, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the value exceeds $500, it becomes a felony with a penalty of one to five years in prison.
  • Theft by shoplifting: The penalties for this offense vary depending on the value of the stolen property. For items valued at less than $500, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and for items worth more than $5,000, it is a felony punishable by one to ten years in prison.

 

Preventing Property Crimes

 

One of the best ways to avoid being charged with a property crime is to know and understand your rights. If you are ever in a situation where someone accuses you of theft, it’s important to remain calm and remember that you have the right to remain silent and have an attorney present during any questioning.

Additionally, practicing good judgment and avoiding risky behaviors can help prevent being accused of a property crime. This includes:

  • Not taking or borrowing items without permission
  • Avoiding situations where you could be accused of shoplifting, such as concealing items in your bag or not paying for them at the register
  • Not making false statements or promises to obtain property or services

 

Contacting a Criminal Defense Attorney

 

If you are facing charges for a property crime in Georgia, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At Frye Law Group, LLC, we have a team of skilled attorneys who will fight to protect your rights and defend you against any property crime charges. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate the complex legal system in Georgia.