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What Happens if You Get Caught Stealing in GA?

Our Atlanta theft crimes lawyer explains what happens if you are caught stealing in Georgia and how to protect yourself throughout the legal process.

If you are caught stealing in Georgia, the penalties you face have the potential to be severe. A conviction could result in heavy fines, a lengthy jail sentence, and a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, we provide the strong legal defense you need. Our Atlanta theft crimes lawyer explains what to expect during the legal process. 

The Legal Process if You are Caught Stealing

Under the Georgia Code (Section 16-8-1), theft involves any type of unlawful taking or withholding of another’s property, ranging from burglary and armed robbery to identity theft and simple shoplifting.

If you are caught stealing in Georgia, you will likely face immediate arrest. If law enforcement does not actually catch you in the alleged act but instead has evidence you committed a theft crime, they could obtain a warrant. In either case, once you are apprehended, you risk the loss of your freedom and certain rights. To protect yourself, get our Atlanta criminal defense lawyer on your side.

We can represent you in hearings, negotiate with police and prosecutors on your behalf, and gather the evidence needed to prevent a conviction. The following explains what to expect throughout the legal process:

  • Initial appearance: This occurs within 48 hours of your arrest or within 72 hours of issuing a warrant. You will be required to appear before a judge in the Georgia Criminal Court, who will make sure you understand the charges against you, advise you on your right to legal counsel, and determine whether to set a bond in your case.
  • Arraignment: During this hearing, your judge will review your charges, initial evidence against you and determine whether your case should go to trial. You will also have the opportunity to enter a plea.
  • Pretrial negotiations: This involves meetings between your lawyer and the prosecutor in your case. It includes discovery, which is the sharing of evidence between both sides. It also includes negotiations regarding a possible reduction in charges or a plea deal to help you avoid a jail sentence.
  • Trial: If pretrial negotiations do not get results, your case will then proceed to trial. After both sides present evidence and make legal arguments, a judge or a jury will decide whether to convict.
  • Sentencing: This is when the judge determines the penalties for your alleged crime. During sentencing, you may also notify the court of your intent to file an appeal.

Get Our Georgia Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer on Your Side

Facing any type of theft charges in Georgia is a serious matter. To protect your rights throughout the legal process and help prevent a conviction. Get our legal team at Ghanayem & Rayasam on your side. For a strong legal defense, call or contact our Atlanta theft crimes lawyer online and request a consultation today.