Georgia law includes several separate offenses under the category of property crimes. Property crimes are considered serious offenses, and carry strict penalties if a conviction is obtained. Even first time offenses are considered punishable by incarceration and other penalties. Because of the serious nature of property crimes, it is critical that any Georgia resident arrested on suspicion of property crimes contact a criminal defense attorney immediately following the arrest. It is imperative to act quickly in order to find the best options and secure the best outcome possible.
Property Crimes in Georgia
Property crimes in Georgia are classified under a series of separate offenses, each with its own set of possible penalties. Property crimes charges may include the following:
- Burglary – While most people believe that burglary is the act of taking the property of someone else, burglary is actually a completely separate offense. To be classified as burglary, the individual must have entered the dwelling of another person without permission, with the intent to take property or commit a felonious crime. Burglary can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
- Larceny – Larceny is similar to theft, but also falls into a separate classification. Larceny is a charge that results from the taking of someone else’s money or property, which is then transported or sold as their own. Larceny charges generally involve transporting property from the owner’s property to another location, and may include a variety of separate factors.
- Shoplifting – Shoplifting is one of the most common forms of property crime. As the name suggests, shoplifting occurs when an individual takes merchandise from a store without paying for it. Shoplifting can be subcategorized as petty or grand theft, which can result in either a misdemeanor or felony. The penalties for shoplifting depend on the factors surrounding the incident, as well as how the charges are classified.
- Vandalism – Vandalism includes many behaviors including graffiti, using toilet paper to vandalize someone else’s property, painting on public signage, damaging property, littering, mailbox crimes (i.e., damaging a mailbox), and many others. Depending on the nature of the crime, whether there were any injuries, and where the crime took place will largely influence the severity of the charges and penalties.
- Theft – Theft is another common form of property crime. Theft is the backbone of several property crimes, including burglary and larceny. Theft can be classified as petty or grand theft, and carries significant penalties depending on the factors surrounding the incident leading to an arrest.
- Motor vehicle theft – Motor vehicle theft is a serious crime in Georgia, especially in urban downtown areas. Motor vehicle theft charges may result from the unlawful entry of a vehicle, a carjacking incident, or breaking in to a car that belongs to someone else. Another form of motor vehicle theft includes when a vehicle was purchased illegally.
Property Crimes Have Strict Penalties
Regardless of the classification as a petty, grand, misdemeanor, or felony charge, all property crimes in Georgia are taken seriously and have serious consequences. In order to avoid hefty fines and time in prison, it is important for anyone who has been arrested on property crime charges to seek the aid of an experienced Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney.
Get the help you need to stay out of jail by contacting the Abt Law Firm, LLC. Our office offers client support day and night. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation over the telephone, at the jail, or in our office with one of our Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorneys. Do not hesitate to defend your rights and protect your future interests. Avoid spending time in jail by calling 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459.