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Important Insights on Theft laws – What is considered a Misdemeanor and a felony

  1. Criminal defense lawyers say that in Georgia, there are several ways to commit the crime of theft. Out of many ways, the most common type is “Theft by taking”. Georgia statute Georgia Code § 16-8-2 defines the law as to have occurred when a person is in unlaw possession of an item or unlawful taking or unlawfully appropriating the property of some other person with the intent of driving him/her of that property, regardless of the way the property has been appropriated.

    Georgia laws for other types of theft –

    Theft by conversion

    Theft by deception

    Theft of lost property

    Theft of service

    Theft by receiving the property that is stolen in some other state

    Theft by bringing the property stolen in some other state

    Theft by extortion

    Theft by shoplifting

    Is theft considered Misdemeanor or a felony in the state of Georgia?
    Criminal defense lawyers say that when the offense of theft involves $500 or less of property, the crime is considered as misdemeanor in the state of Georgia (according to § 16-8-12.). Committing a misdemeanor will be sentenced a fine of up to $1000 with prison time of no more than 12 months. If the person receives a sentence punishment of less than or equal to 6 months, it is up to the court of law to allow the person to serve the sentence via confinement on weekends or nonworking hours of the convict.

    But, if the offender has committed theft of property valued more than $500, then he/she has committed a felony. Also, it would be at the discretion of the judge to consider it a misdemeanour (according to § 17-10-5.) If the judge declares it a felony, the offender will serve the sentence of minimum 12 months and no more than 10 years.
    The other ways that can make theft a felony according to Criminal defense lawyers are –
    Theft resulting in the fiduciary relationship breach (sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment and/or penalty)

    Theft of anhydrous ammonia (1-10 years of prison sentence)

    Theft of bank or government property by its employee (1-15 years of prison, may or may not involve fine)

    Theft of part of the vehicle with higher than $100 or theft of motor vehicle (1-10 years of prison)

    Theft of explosives, destructive devices, or firearm (1-10 years prison)

    Theft that involves cemetry decoration or gravesite (1-3 years prison time)

    Theft committed using the computer network, computer or during the home repair or home improvement (1-10 years of prison time)

    Any person whose property has been stolen or taken unlawfully can take a civil action against the person responsible for theft of the property. In such cases, these are monetary damages that occur –

    Compensatory damage that includes the cost of the property as well as any damage that occured during theft.

    Cost of action maintenance
    Liquidated exemplary damages that are equal to twice the loss value or $150, if

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