While having a criminal record of any kind can hinder your job prospects and prevent you from being hired for a job, a conviction for a theft crime can be particularly damaging. At the Law Offices of J. Lee Webb, we understand the serious impacts these types of charges can have on your personal freedoms as well as your financial security. Our Athens theft law firm provides aggressive, professional legal representation to assist in defending your name and reputation, while protecting you against heavy fines and potential jail time.
Types of Theft Crimes
Under the Georgia Code of Laws, theft is defined as depriving another of property or services, either through the physical taking of that property or by means of fraud or deception. While crimes such as robbery and breaking and entering are often the first thing that come to mind when thinking of theft crimes, there are various other classifications of theft that can be just as serious and damaging to your reputation.
Intellectual Property Theft
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property refers to ideas, creations, and inventions that may or may not be protected by copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Using another’s intellectual property without permission or falsely claiming it as your own could subject you to both state and federal criminal penalties, as well as making you liable for damages through a civil lawsuit.
Listed under Section 16-9-21 of the Georgia Code, identity theft involves using another person’s personal information fraudulently and without consent for the purpose of obtaining financial benefits. This may include opening up credit cards or bank accounts using another person’s information, or selling that information to others for the purpose of financial gain. Penalties for identity theft may include fines as much as $250,000 and up to 15 years in jail.
Shoplifting in Athens is a form of theft taken seriously by shop owners and merchants, often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Under Section 16-8-14 of the Georgia Code, shoplifting can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the amount of property taken and the number of prior offenses, and penalties may include fines up to $1,000 and jail time ranging from one to fifteen years. In addition to facing charges for actually taking property from a store, you can also be charged for switching price tags on merchandise in order to buy products at a lower price.
Petty theft is a term used to describe the theft of property valued at $500 or less, and despite what the name implies, these types of charges are a serious matter. As a misdemeanor, penalties may include both fines and jail times, and there is always the potential that aggravating circumstances, such as a past criminal record or the discovery that a weapon was used during the crime, could increase both your charges and your sentence.
Classified under Section 16-8-4 of the Georgia Code as a theft of conversion, embezzlement involves taking money or property you were entrusted to manage, guard, or monitor, and converting it to your own uses. Penalties for embezzlement are dependent on both the type of asset stolen, as well as its value and who it was stolen from, and could involve both state and federal charges.
Contact Our Athens Theft Law Firm Today
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a theft crime, contact our experienced Athens theft lawyer today. At the Law Offices of J. Lee Webb, we can help you sort out the types of charges you face and the potential penalties. We can work with you to strategize your best course of defense, while ensuring your rights and interests are protected. We serve Athens and the surrounding areas; call (706) 705-5122 or contact our office online today to request a free consultation.