In Georgia criminal law, “theft” is a term that can refer to a number of 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 will be able to help you understand exactly which type of theft you’re being charged with. But the elements and potential penalties are largely the same between the different types.
If the value of the stolen property is less than $500, the crime is a misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail. However, if the value of the stolen property is $500 or more, the crime is a felony, and can result in up to 10 years in prison.