There are many different types of crimes in Georgia that fall within the category of theft crimes. In a previous blog, shoplifting charges were discussed. Although these are serious crimes that could derail a person’s life, there are other theft crimes that can lead to even longer prison terms.
Smash and Grab
Georgia is one of the few states to have a law on the books that specifically involves breaking something, such as a display case or a car window, in order to snatch what lies inside. When a person breaks through a door or window, or the glass of a display within a store, and steals merchandise worth in excess of $500.00, that person faces felony charges and a mandatory two-year prison term. This is for a first time offense. This is a relatively new law, enacted in 2010. The legislature deemed this more complex than a shoplifting crime because in addition to the retail theft, there was damage to property as well as the breaking and entering. Smash and grab crimes occur frequently in Atlanta and throughout the State of Georgia. It is important to have the right attorney in order to avoid significant prison time, even for the first time charged.
Other Georgia Theft Crimes
In addition to shoplifting and smash and grab crimes, there are many other types of theft crimes, including:
- Theft by deception;
- Theft by taking;
- Theft by receiving;
- Theft by conversion;
- Theft of services;
- Theft by extortion; and
- Receiving stolen property.
The penalties for these charges vary, but some of the sentences that might be imposed include:
- A misdemeanor charge if the value of the stolen property is less than $1,500.00;
- A felony charge if the value of the stolen property is valued between $1,500.00 and $4,999.99, with the possible penalty of between one to five years in prison. However, the judge still retains the discretion to reduce this charge to a misdemeanor;
- A felony charge if the value of the stolen property is between $5,000.00, but less than $25,000.00, with the possible penalty of between one and 10 years in prison. The judge does have the discretion to reduce this to a misdemeanor charge; and
- A felony charge if the value of the stolen property is $25,000.00 or more, with a potential penalty of at least two years in prison. The maximum term may be 20 years. In this case, the judge does not have the authority to reduce these charges to a misdemeanor.
These penalties reflect changes to Georgia law that beings penalties into alignment with those imposed in other states. They apply to crimes committed after July 1, 2012, so any recent crimes are subject to these legislative changes.
Theft crimes involve an element of dishonesty, so long after the crime has occurred, a potential employer may look at this type of crime on a record and determine that the person does not have the moral character necessary to perform the job at hand. It is vitally important to do everything necessary to prevent this stigma from becoming a part of your record.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively fights for its Clients
If you or a loved one was charged with a crime involving theft of property, regardless of the circumstances, it is critical to hire a criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and dedication to go to battle on your behalf. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. can get the charges dismissed in many cases. In others, it is possible to negotiate down the charges to a misdemeanor and get the record expunged in accordance with Georgia law. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations and are ready to come to you in jail.