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What is theft by deception in Georgia?

Theft is a serious criminal offense that can take on many different forms under Georgia law. Depending on the alleged conduct that a defendant has purportedly engaged in, they may face any number of theft charges that carry varying degrees of sanctions and penalties. One form of theft recognized under Georgia law is theft by deception.

This post will provide readers with some information about this specific theft crime, though readers are reminded that the contents of this post do not provide any legal advice. They may choose to speak with trusted criminal defense lawyers in Marietta for advice on how best to address their own pending criminal defense cases.

Element of Deceit

At the core of theft by deception charges is deceit. Deceit may be active or by omission. For example, a person may outright lie about their ownership in an item when attempting to take it by theft. Or they may fail to correct another person’s error in ownership and possession of an item and use that to deprive them of property. Through concealment, deception, or obstruction, a person can be charged with theft by deception if they take property that is not theirs.

Defenses to theft

To prove any form of theft, a prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally attempted to deceive or conceal the true ownership of an item from the person who was deprived of it. To this end, if an alleged thief did not intend to deprive someone of their property, whether by error or mistake, they cannot be charged with theft because they lack the proper intention.

Criminal defense lawyers can help their clients build defense strategies that address the facts of their specific cases. No two defense strategies will be identical because they must account for the specific nature of each criminal case. Readers with questions about theft and other criminal allegations can benefit from seeking independent legal counsel on their unique legal needs.