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.

Burglary Defense

I will fight for your freedom and your future.

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.

Case Results

When the stakes are high, the results matter most.

Not Guilty


Client charged with Burglary in the First Degree. Not guilty Burglary. Convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter


Client charged with murder and possession of a firearm. Case reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter.

Not Guilty

Possession With Intent

Client charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Jury verdict of simple possession of marijuana.

Not Guilty

Simple Battery

Client charged with simple battery. Not guilty all counts at trial.

Case Dismissed


Trafficking methamphetamine. Dismissed. Probation on remaining counts.

Not Guilty

Aggravated Assault

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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"Mr. Mitchell is a real lion in the court room. I was facing 52 years and came out with a 2-5 year sentence. When his back is against the wall, Todd doesn't give up. I think he should change his name to J. Todd "The Lion" Mitchell. He is the only lawyer I will trust."

Todd is Knowledgeable & Fearless!

"I was in an impossible situation and thought I would spend a chunk of my life behind bars. Then God sent Todd Mitchell. He spoke up for me to the judge and D.A. at the hearing and was continuously on top of the case. His is the only number I'll call."

Great Counsel and a Great Outcome

"I hired Todd to handle a criminal case with a high probability of significant jail time. He was key in navigating the complexities of my case and always offered sound advice which ultimately resulted in the best possible outcome for my circumstances."

Todd Mitchell is a Winning Trial Expert

"Todd Mitchell is a trial expert, not just a criminal defense lawyer. His extensive experience WINNING trials, not just trying them, sets him apart from other attorneys in this area. If you want someone who will fight for you, hire Todd Mitchell."

Theft & Robbery Defense FAQs

Have a specific criminal defense question? Contact us today!

Robbery is a form of theft. The distinction is that theft involves a wide range of different means of taking someone else’s property without the legal right to do so. Robbery is more specific, and occurs only when the property is taken from the presence of a person by force, intimidation, or sudden snatching. Some theft crimes are misdemeanors, but robbery is always a felony and carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison. So, if you’ve been accused of robbery, it’s important to consult an experienced Augusta robbery lawyer right away.

How an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help will vary depending on the specifics of your case. The attorney will assess your case for weaknesses such as insufficient evidence or issues like an illegal search that may lead to suppression of evidence. Depending on the specifics of your case, your theft attorney may recommend fighting the charges at trial or using the weaknesses in the case to negotiate for a favorable plea agreement.

The potential charges for a theft or robbery conviction depend on the specific charge and certain other factors. Some theft crimes are misdemeanors and others are felonies carrying lengthy possible prison sentences. All theft crimes are crimes of dishonesty, which may impact employment opportunities and other areas of life. The best source of information about what’s at stake in your theft case is an experienced Augusta criminal defense lawyer.

Theft and robbery are both intent crimes. One common defense to a theft-related charge is that the accused did not intend to take the property, mistakenly believed they had a right to take the property, or did not know or have reason to know that the property they received from someone else was stolen. Your theft defense lawyer may also be able to call evidence into question, such as showing that a witness told inconsistent stories, or trying to keep the jury from hearing about evidence because it was obtained in violation of your 4th Amendment rights. These are just a few of the ways an experienced theft lawyer may be able to fight charges against you.

A mitigating factor is any factor the court considers that may reduce the appropriate penalty for a crime. In general criminal cases, including theft and robbery cases, these factors may include things like the defendant’s youth, lack of prior criminal activity, and extreme stressors that may have affected the defendant’s choices. There may also be mitigating factors that are specific to theft cases. For example, someone who stole property from another person but then regretted the decision and returned the property unharmed might still be guilty of a crime, but be treated more leniently than one who attempted to get away with the theft. Similarly, a shoplifting lawyer might make the argument that a client who stole only baby formula that they needed and was unable to purchase should receive a lesser sentence.