Smyrna Theft Crime Lawyer
Many people have stolen something at least once in their lives. They may think of theft as a minor crime, especially shoplifting. However, charges and punishment depend on the value of the item taken. So even if you take a small item, you could be facing felony charges.
Theft can easily become a serious situation. In the blink of an eye, you could face life-changing consequences.
It may be surprising to you that there are different types of theft. You need someone who truly understands the law. That’s where Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. comes in. Our Smyrna theft crime lawyer is well-known in the community as a dedicated litigator, dynamic trial lawyer, and successful negotiator. Contact us today to learn more.
Theft By Taking
Theft by taking is the most common type of theft in Georgia. This type of theft occurs when a person unlawfully takes or appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.
So what exactly does depriving mean? Georgia law defines it in two ways: either to withhold a person’s property temporarily or permanently, or dispose of the property so that it is unlikely that the owner will recover it.
The “property of another” includes property that does not belong to the accused person in some way. For example, you cannot be guilty of theft if you take assets that you own in some way. However, anything else will be considered theft.
Theft by taking is a broad term that encompasses a large area. It is important to have an attorney on your side who understands the subtle distinctions and could help you fight a conviction.
Defenses to Theft
You can defend a theft charge. Here are some common defenses:
- Ownership. You may have a valid defense if you, in good faith, believed that the property was yours or you had a valid claim to it. However, you cannot simply claim “I thought it was mine.” You will need some evidence.
- Return of property. While returning stolen property generally doesn’t defend you from theft charges, it can make you appear more sympathetic to a prosecutor for purposes of a possible plea deal. Or you could try to claim that you were just borrowing the property and you simply forgot to return it.
- Intoxication. It may be possible to defend accusations of theft charges if you were intoxicated at the time. If you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, you may be unable to form the required intent to steal. However, keep in mind that public intoxication can be a criminal offense of its own.
Contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. Today
Being accused of theft can be a stressful situation. Not only that, but theft charges can follow you forever. This is why you need to deal with them promptly.
Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. can guide you through the process. Let us help you get a favorable outcome for your theft charge. Schedule a consultation today. Call an experienced Smyrna theft offenses lawyer at (678) 853-2500.