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What are Georgia’s laws on theft?

Theft is one of the most prevalent crimes in Georgia and elsewhere. There are different types of theft that a person could commit.

How theft is defined in Georgia

According to Georgia law, theft is committed when a person takes someone else’s property without that person’s consent and with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property. Theft can also involve receiving services with the intent of not paying for them.

Theft encompasses a variety of different crimes. It may include theft by deception, theft by conversion, shoplifting, theft by extortion or theft of lost or mislaid property. Property can be personal such as a smartphone or TV, real property or services provided. For example, a person dines at a restaurant and then skips out on the bill.

Different forms of theft explained

Theft can be done in various ways. A person could snatch someone’s purse, which is considered theft by taking. Theft by deception involves fooling the victim into giving something away for something promised to them that the perpetrator never intends on giving them.

Theft by conversion occurs when a person turns the legal use of someone else’s property into some illegal use. For example, taking money from someone with the express purpose of paying bills but then using the money as a downpayment for a car.

Extortion involves theft through threatening the victim with bodily harm, defamation or another type of harm.

Theft can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the property taken. A misdemeanor conviction results in a maximum one-year jail term and a fine. A felony results in one to 10 years in prison and a fine.

Theft charges should not be taken lightly. A conviction could change your life.