Facing criminal charges in Georgia is daunting, especially if you are unsure of the nature of these charges and need to understand what they could mean for your future. Many people misunderstand theft charges, and as a result, they may not be certain how to build the right type of defense strategy. A strong and thoughtfully prepared defense is critical for your long-term interests.
Theft is the term used to describe the action of taking another person’s property without his or her permission. There are varying degrees of theft, and some theft charges carry significant penalties. You may think these charges are not a big deal or that you can face them alone, but that is not a wise choice.
What is theft?
Essentially, theft is the act of taking something from someone else with the intent of depriving that person of his or her property permanently. One of the most complex facets of any theft case is proving a person’s intent. It may be very difficult for the prosecution to clearly prove your intent for the property in question, and this is an important point for your defense. Two main factors determine the type of theft charge:
- What type of property you allegedly stole
- How much that property is actually worth
Petty theft is what happens when someone takes property that is worth less than a certain amount. Petty theft is almost always a misdemeanor, but a conviction can still leave you with various serious consequences and a blemish on your criminal record.
Grand theft is the theft of property that is worth more than a certain amount according to current market value. In most cases, grand theft is a felony, and a conviction can lead to consequences that may affect the rest of your life.
Quick action for your defense
No matter what type of criminal charges you are up against, it is in your interests to take quick action to protect your rights and develop a defense strategy that will allow you to confront the prosecution’s case. Whether you are facing petty theft or a felony grand theft charge, the right defense is critical to protect your future and your personal freedom.
As soon as possible after an arrest or as soon as you learn about an investigation into your activities, it is a prudent step to start on your defense. The first thing you may want to do is speak to a defense attorney about your situation and seek his or her advice regarding an appropriate strategy.