Augusta Theft/Burglary Defense Lawyer
Theft & Robbery Defense
If you’ve been charged with a theft crime or burglary in Georgia, you could be facing severe consequences. In addition to potential fines, jail time, and other direct penalties, being convicted of a theft crime can have indirect consequences, such as limiting employment options. Your best next step is to speak with an experienced Augusta burglary lawyer or theft attorney right away.
Burglary & Theft Crimes
Theft Crimes Defense Attorney in Augusta, GA
What is a Theft Crime?
Generally, a theft crime is one in which the accused intentionally deprives the owner of property or something else of value of the use and possession of that property. In simple terms, taking something that belongs to someone else without permission or the right to do so.
Under Georgia law, there are several different theft crimes, carrying different classifications and different penalties. These include:
- Theft by taking, which simply means appropriating property you have no right to, or keeping property you have no right to keep
- Theft by deception, which involves obtaining property through deception or artifice
- Theft by conversion, which means using money or property that is in your property legally for your own purposes instead of the agreed purpose
- Theft of services, which occurs when someone obtains services, entertainment, or the use of property dishonestly, with the intent to avoid payment
- Theft of lost or mislaid property, which occurs when someone comes into possession of property they know is lost or mislaid and keeps it for their own use without trying to get it back to the owner
- Theft by receiving stolen property, which occurs when someone takes possession of property they know or reasonably should know is stolen
- Theft by shoplifting, which occurs when someone takes an item from a retail store without paying, or contrives to pay less than the correct price of the item through trickery such as switching price tags
These are just some of the most common types of theft crimes in Georgia. There are also specific crimes for theft of trade secrets, refund fraud, shoplifting rings, extortion, and other means of obtaining property you are not entitled to. If you’ve been accused of one of these crimes, it is important to talk with a local criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience defending those accused of burglary, shoplifting, or other related offenses right away.
Theft crimes may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the nature of the theft, the value of the property, previous convictions, and other factors.
Robbery is a Special Type of Theft Crime
Under Georgia law, a person is guilty of robbery if they commit a theft by taking property from another person, or in the immediate presence of another person, and use force or intimidation to take the property. There are several different types and degrees of robbery in Georgia, depending on variables such as:
- Whether the robber was armed during the commission of the crime
- The age of the victim
- Whether the robbery occurred in a pharmacy and involved the taking of a controlled substance
The least serious robbery conviction carries a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years, and some robbery crimes are classified as serious violent felonies. So, it is important to talk with an experienced August robbery lawyer right away if you have been accused of a robbery crime.
How is Burglary Different from Theft?
Burglary means breaking into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony inside. Often, the felony a burglar intends to commit is theft, such as stealing electronics from a house while the occupants are away. However, burglary can occur without theft. For example, someone who broke into a house intending to kill or sexually assault the occupant would be guilty of burglary. So would someone who broke into a restaurant to set it on fire.
It’s important to note that while the term “breaking and entering” is often used in discussions of burglary cases, no breaking is actually required. You can be convicted of burglary if you’ve entered the property without permission intending to commit a felony, or if you were on the premises legally but illegally remained in the building or other structure for the purpose of committing a felony.
Burglary is a more serious crime if the place the accused has entered is a dwelling. That could mean a house, an apartment building, a trailer or boat being used as a dwelling, or any other structure designed for use as a dwelling. A first offense conviction involving burglary of a dwelling carries a sentence of up to 20 years. A first offense involving burglary of a non-dwelling structure, such as a place of business, carries a maximum sentence of eight years.
The possible penalties increase with subsequent convictions. And, burglary charges are often accompanied by other charges relating to the intended (or completed) felony. An experienced Georgia burglary lawyer is your best source of information about the possible consequences of a burglary conviction and the defenses that may be available to you.
Defenses Against Burglary and Theft Charges
The defenses that may be available in your theft or burglary case will depend on the exact charge and the specifics of your case. Some common defenses to theft charges include:
- Reasonable lack of knowledge that the property belonged to someone else
- An honest belief that you had a right to the property or service
- Acted appropriately under a right to acquire or dispose of the property
- Took property offered for sale intending to make prompt payment, and believing the owner would have consented if present
To learn more about the defenses that may be available in your case, any issues with your arrest, and how evidence was acquired that may weaken the case against you (or even result in dismissal), talk to an experienced burglary and theft lawyer immediately.
The Right Theft Attorney is Critical
A theft crime conviction can have a serious impact on your future, even if it’s a relatively low-level charge. More serious charges can mean years or even decades in prison. If you’ve been charged with a crime, protect yourself by scheduling a free consultation with an experienced Augusta criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible—before discussing your case with law enforcement or prosecutors and before appearing in court.
To learn more about how we can help you fight a theft, robbery, or burglary charge, call 706-750-0501 or fill out the contact form on this site. The initial consultation is free.
When the stakes are high, the results matter most.
Client charged with Burglary in the First Degree. Not guilty Burglary. Convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass.
Client charged with murder and possession of a firearm. Case reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter.
Possession With Intent
Client charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Jury verdict of simple possession of marijuana.
Client charged with simple battery. Not guilty all counts at trial.
Trafficking methamphetamine. Dismissed. Probation on remaining counts.
Client charged with aggravated assault, burglary in the first degree, and forgery in the fourth degree. Facing 41 years in prison. Not guilty verdict on all felonies. Only convicted of one count of misdemeanor battery.
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