Theft by taking vs. deception in Georgia

According to Georgian law, there are different types of theft crimes. Every crime has various elements that must be proven by the prosecutor (i.e. the state of Georgia) in order to successfully achieve a conviction. These offenses include theft of services, theft by shoplifting, theft by extortion, theft by conversion, and theft of lost or misplaced property. Learn more about theft by takeaway versus theft by deception under the Georgian Criminal Code below.

What defines theft in Georgia?

Georgian law defines the offense of theft by taking as occurred when a person unlawfully takes property from another person – or is lawfully in possession of property – with the intention of depriving the true owner of the property, regardless of how the property is appropriated or taken.

On the other hand, Georgian law defines the crime of theft by deception when a person obtains property through artful practices or fraudulent means with the intention of depriving the true owner of the property. Fraud occurs when the person intentionally:

  • Confirms or creates the impression in others of an existing event or fact from the past that is false and that the accused believes or knows to be false;
  • fails to correct a false impression of a past event or existing fact which he or she previously confirmed or created;
  • prevents anyone else from receiving information about the disposition of the property in question;
  • willfully fails to disclose a valid known legal impediment, lien, or prejudicial claim to the use of the property—whether or not an official record is an official record—when he or she sells, transfers, or encumbers any property;
  • Commitments to perform services that it does not intend to perform or that it knows will not perform.

What are the penalties for theft in Georgia?

Depending on the severity of the crime, a theft in Georgia can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is a minor offense punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment of up to one year. A felony, on the other hand, is a more serious offense punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for more than one year.

The level of criminal charges and the resulting penalty for theft in Georgia depend on the value of the stolen property. For example, if the value of the stolen property is less than $500, the defendant will be charged with a misdemeanor. On the other hand, if the value of the stolen property is more than $500, the defendant will be charged with a felony. There are also other factors considered in Georgian criminal law when dealing with theft that may affect the category of offense and the resulting punishment. These include whether the person stealing was a trustee and breached their fiduciary duties, a government or financial institution official or employee who breached their duties, and whether the suspect stole a vehicle or component of a vehicle of any value, among other things from over $100.

Criminal Defense Assistance in Georgia

At Moffitt Law, LLC, our experienced Georgia criminal defense attorneys have the experience and knowledge to handle the charges brought against you. Our lawyers have mastered all aspects of criminal law and will fight for your rights. Contact us today to arrange your first, confidential case assessment.