Are you facing theft charges in Georgia? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people are charged with theft in our state. Whether it is a shoplifting charge or something more serious, such as grand larceny or armed robbery, being accused of any type of theft crime can have lasting effects on your life and future.
Fortunately, competent help is available to those who face these types of arrests and charges in and around Cobb County. With legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP, you can fight for an optimum outcome. Our Marietta theft attorneys know how to evaluate these cases. In many instances, we can achieve an outcome that does not involve a criminal conviction. A criminal record with a theft conviction can be devastating when applying for employment or seeking other life opportunities, from rental housing to advanced educational aid, and more.
Shoplifting Offenses in Georgia
The most common theft case we see at our firm is theft by shoplifting. These cases typically involve an allegation of theft from a retail merchant and often involve a teenager or college-aged student.
Generally, whether the case will be treated as a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the value of the merchandise taken. If the value of the merchandise is $500 or less, the case will be treated as a misdemeanor. However, if the value exceeds $500, the case will be treated as a felony and the punishment is enhanced. As with most laws, exceptions exist to these general rules.
Many jurisdictions have “diversion programs.” These offer you a chance to have your case dismissed if you are eligible and agree to enter and complete all the requirements set forth by the court. These requirements can include community service, payment of fees, and classes, all of which must be completed within a certain timeframe.
Other Theft Charges in Georgia
In general, theft crimes are charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the monetary value of the goods, services, or property that was allegedly taken. Theft is the taking or converting of such property without the consent of the owner and with the intent to deprive him or her of the property. Property can include everything from vehicles to cash, stocks, bonds, real property, such as land and buildings, as well as services, such as hotel and restaurant services or other professional or personal services provided to the offender.
Misdemeanor theft involves stealing property or services valued at $1,500 or under; it carries up to 12 months of jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If you have two or more prior theft convictions, however, you may be charged with a felony carrying a prison term of one to five years.
Felony theft is charged when the monetary value of what was taken is $1,500 up to $4,999, resulting in a prison term of one to five years. When the value ranges between $5,000 and $25,000, it is generally punishable by one to 10 years in prison. Theft of anything valued at $25,000 or more carries two to 20 years in prison.
Other types of theft can include theft of anything valued at more than $500 committed against someone aged 65 or older, theft of firearms, theft by breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of governmental or financial duties by an employee or officer. These carry their own specific criminal penalties.
Protect Your Rights and Future with Experienced Theft Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a theft crime, it is crucial to seek the help of experienced theft defense attorneys who can protect your rights and fight for your future. At Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP., our team of skilled theft defense lawyers has a proven track record of successfully defending clients facing theft charges in Cobb County and the surrounding areas.
Why choose our theft defense attorneys?
- Extensive knowledge and experience: Our attorneys have a deep understanding of theft laws and the criminal justice system. We stay updated on the latest legal developments to provide you with the most effective defense strategies.
- Personalized approach: We understand that every theft case is unique. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to your side of the story, gather evidence, and build a strong defense tailored to your specific circumstances.
- Aggressive representation: We will vigorously fight for your rights, challenging the prosecution's evidence, negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties, and, if necessary, taking your case to trial.
- Compassionate support: We know that facing theft charges can be overwhelming and stressful. Our attorneys will provide you with compassionate support throughout the legal process, keeping you informed and guiding you every step of the way.
- Positive outcomes: Our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. Whether it's getting charges dismissed, negotiating a favorable plea deal, or winning a not guilty verdict at trial, we will strive to protect your reputation and future.
Don't let a theft charge derail your life. Contact our experienced theft defense attorneys at Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP. today for a confidential consultation.
We Defend All Theft Allegations
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help those facing theft charges in Georgia in several ways. First, we can provide valuable advice based on our extensive knowledge of the law and prior experience defending similar cases. We can also work to build an effective legal strategy to challenge any evidence presented against you and put forth arguments that can weaken the prosecution's case.
Whether through a diversion program, plea bargaining, or a trial before a judge and jury, our team’s priority is always to help you achieve the most favorable result.