Atlanta Theft Defense Attorney
Theft crimes involve many different circumstances. You may not have considered what you were doing as taking something that did not belong to you. You may even be innocent of the crime as there are many situations where accusations are made because of the bad motives of the accuser or an incorrect interpretation of the evidence. At their core, theft crimes involve the illegal taking of another person's property with the intent of keeping that property away from its owner permanently. Theft can occur by simply taking the property or by deceiving the property's owner into thinking that you have a different purpose.
As an Atlanta criminal defense attorney with many years of state and federal experience as a prosecutor, I have spent years trying cases involving charges of theft. This experience has enabled me to craft a defense strategy that will most completely protect your interests. If you have been charged with theft in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, or Cobb County, or other locations around Atlanta, Georgia, then I can help you get through this with the least negative impact on your life.
Understanding the Different Types of Theft Crimes
Georgia law includes conversion of funds or property and stolen services under the rubric of theft. Taking funds or property that should be used for one lawful purpose and then unlawfully applying them to a different use will lead to theft charges. Using some form of deceit or deception to acquire services without any intent to pay for those services also may lead to a charge of theft.
The following are some typical theft crimes:
- Theft by taking;
- Armed robbery;
- Auto theft;
- Receipt of stolen property; and
Under Georgia law, conviction of a theft crime that did not involve force or threat of force where the property value is less than $500 generally will result in a misdemeanor charge. However, there are many factors that come into play as the value of the property becomes greater, if force or threat of force was involved, if the crime involved a victim older than 65 years, or the criminal action involved fraud. The more serious charges can lead to significant fines and sentences of up to 15 years.
Aggressive Defense Tactics in Atlanta, GA
There are many different options to defend against theft crimes. The prosecutor has the burden of introducing evidence to show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The element of intent is particularly important for a conviction in a theft case. If the prosecutor cannot prove intent then a conviction is highly unlikely. Moreover, the process by which the police conducted the investigation and effectuated the arrest is susceptible to attack based on improper procedure or inappropriate actions by the investigating or arresting officers. Evidence obtained through a violation of the defendant's rights may be suppressed. There are many different options that a skilled attorney can pursue to get charges dismissed, negotiate a favorable plea, or obtain a verdict of "not guilty." However, you have to retain the right attorney.
Theft crimes are considered to be indicative of dishonest character. Therefore, along with fraud, theft crimes are given careful consideration when they come up in a background check and may form the basis of denial of licenses by state licensing boards. Therefore it is critical that you have an attorney who is skilled and experienced in defending individuals accused of theft crimes to prevent these negative consequences.
Call Attorney Miller for your free initial criminal case consultation!