Strong representation for burglary, robbery, shoplifting and more
Being arrested on theft charges can put your entire future on the line. For the representation you need during this difficult time, turn to Nicholson Phillips in Marietta. Since 1990 we have served clients facing many types of criminal charges, providing excellent service and personal attention. Our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience and have dealt with all facets of the justice system, and we leverage our knowledge to offer you the best legal options available.
What is a theft crime?
Theft is generally any crime in which one individual illegally takes the property of another person with the intention of depriving that person of the items in question. This is a very broad definition, and therefore there are many different acts prosecutors and the criminal justice system may consider theft. The following are some of the most common types of theft:
Shoplifting. Georgia law defines shoplifting as taking merchandise without paying for it, thereby depriving the business of that property.
Burglary. This offense involves an individual illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a criminal act. To convict, prosecutors often simply need to prove breaking and entering, even if no actual theft of property occurred.
Robbery. If you’re accused of using force or the threat of force to deprive someone of property, you may face robbery charges. Offenses involving the actual or implied use of weapons may be classified as armed robbery.
White collar crimes. Many white collar crimes, including fraud, embezzlement and money laundering, may involve forms of theft.
Services theft. State law recognizes the theft of services, such as lodging, consulting services and entertainment. In these cases, the accused must have attained these services with the intention to avoid paying for them.
Your options after shoplifting charges
The penalties you may face for shoplifting charges vary based the circumstances and the value of the property you allegedly stole. According to Georgia law, individuals will face misdemeanor charges if the value of merchandise was under $300 and felony charges if the merchandise was worth more than that. Misdemeanor convictions usually include up to $1,000 in fines and community service, although jail time is possible. Felony convictions could result in one to 10 years incarceration and fines largely up to the court to mandate.
If this was the first time you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, you may be able to take advantage of alternatives to incarceration, including pretrial diversion programs. In many situations, a skilled criminal defense attorney can seek these alternatives on your behalf, helping to avoid jail time or huge fines.