Marietta Misdemeanor Theft Lawyer
Many people think that when they are charged with a misdemeanor crime, it is not a serious matter. However, misdemeanors are still criminal offenses and you will face serious consequences if you are convicted. In Georgia, misdemeanor theft occurs when property valued below $500 is stolen. Below, our Marietta misdemeanor theft lawyer explains the most common types of offenses, and the penalties you may face if you are convicted.
Theft by Shoplifting
Many people know that when property is stolen from a retailer, store, or other merchant, it is known as shoplifting. Shoplifting is a common offense committed by younger people who do not steal luxury items but rather, smaller items. As such, shoplifting is often classified as a misdemeanor. There are other actions that can also constitute shoplifting. These include switching tags so property is at a lower price, removing theft detection devices, and hiding or concealing merchandise even if the person does not leave the store’s premises.
Theft by Deception
As its name suggests, theft by deception occurs when someone steals property by deceiving someone. For example, if a person lied to someone in order to steal their property, that could be considered theft by deception. Or, if a person accepted payment for a job that was never completed, that could also be classified as theft by deception. When someone steals another person’s property and uses deception, it is a misdemeanor if the property was valued at less than $500.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft
Again, the penalties for misdemeanor theft are very serious. If you are convicted, you could face up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. Even a misdemeanor theft conviction can cause you significant problems in the future because you will have a permanent criminal record. This can make it extremely difficult to obtain employment in the future, as employers take theft offenses very seriously.
Defenses to Misdemeanor Theft Offenses
There are certain elements of a theft case the prosecution must prove to secure a conviction. Exposing weaknesses in the state’s case and refuting these elements, can provide a strong defense.
One of the elements the prosecution must prove is that you had intent to deprive the owner of the property either temporarily or permanently. It is extremely difficult to prove what another person was thinking at any given time and a lawyer can help show that you did not have the required intent. A lawyer will also use other defenses, such as showing that you were the rightful owner of the property or establishing a case of mistaken identity.
Our Misdemeanor Theft Lawyer in Marietta Can Help with Your Case
Even a misdemeanor charge can result in serious consequences. At the law firm of Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C., our Marietta misdemeanor theft lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine which defense strategies will give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us now at (678) 853-2500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.