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What Makes Theft a Felony in GA?

You can face felony theft charges in Atlanta depending on the amount stolen and the circumstances surrounding the offense.

Theft charges in Georgia can vary from misdemeanor charges, resulting in fines and probation, to more serious felony offenses, resulting in a lengthy prison sentence. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, our Atlanta theft crimes lawyer provides the strong legal representation you need to protect yourself. Find out some of the circumstances that could result in a felony theft conviction.

Common Theft Crimes in Georgia

Under the Georgia Code (Section 16-8-1), theft crimes involve the unlawful taking or withholding of another’s property, depriving them of use. It may involve theft by taking, deception, or conversion, as well as theft of services and receiving or trafficking in stolen property.

Theft is one of the most frequently committed crimes and can vary dramatically in terms of severity. Categories of thefts in Georgia include:

  • Burglary, which involves unlawfully entering someone’s home or property with the intent of stealing something, regardless of whether you actually do;
  • Robbery, involving unlawful attempts at taking while making verbal or other types of threats against the victim;
  • Larceny, which is another way of describing a theft crime in Georgia and varies based on the amount stolen;
  • Shoplifting, which involves stealing retail items;
  • Motor vehicle theft, which involves illegally taking another’s vehicle without the knowledge or consent.
  • Swindling and other acts of fraud, which include forgery and identity theft.

When Theft Crimes in Georgia Result in Felony Charges

If you are accused of a theft crime in Georgia, you may be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanors are typically lesser offenses, with penalties that include fines, payment of restitution, community service or probation, and up to a year of jail time.

While misdemeanor theft will result in a criminal record and could have serious impacts on every area of your life, felony theft is a far more serious offense. If convicted through the Georgia Criminal Courts, you could be facing up to 20 years in state prison. Circumstances that make theft a felony crime include:

  • Theft of property or services valued at over $1,500*;
  • Thefts involving extortion or committed via threat;
  • Theft involving a breach of trust and fiduciary duty;
  • Theft involving a breach of duty among government officials;
  • Theft involving a breach of duty among employees or representatives of financial institutions;
  • Theft of firearms, explosives, or drug-making supplies;
  • Thefts in which the victim is a child, elderly, or otherwise vulnerable individual;

*Theft crimes up to $5,000 in Georgia are considered ‘wobbler’ offenses. This means that depending on the circumstances, the judge can opt to sentence these as either misdemeanor or felony offenses.

Contact Our Georgia Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you are facing any type of theft charges in Georgia, get the strong legal defense you need at Ghanayem & Rayasam. We provide the professional legal representation you need to avoid serious felony penalties. To request a consultation with our Atlanta theft crimes lawyer, call or contact our office online today.