People in Cumming and across Georgia are aware of the connotations of being accused of theft. Not only can it result in jail time, fines and other penalties, but it will inevitably cast the person in a negative light with the family and in the community. Being accused of theft is never a positive, but it is smart to understand that regardless of the circumstances, there are many viable strategies to defend against the allegations. Before doing or saying anything that could make the situation worse, calling for legal help is critical.
There are many ways in which a person can be charged with theft. It could be for something small like shoplifting, or it could extend to motor vehicles and even robbing banks. There are other aspects of theft that people might not consider such as receiving property that had been stolen in another state, extorting others for money or services, deceiving others and taking their property, and taking property that had been lost or misplaced.
The penalties for a conviction will vary depending on what was taken. If the item had a value of $500 or less, it will be a misdemeanor. If it is worth more than that, the person could be confronted with felony charges. If the incident escalates to using force or making threats, it will be considered robbery. The threat does not necessarily need to be something that the accused intended to carry out. If the victim believed that it was going to happen, then the charge will be robbery. The penalties will then be harsher. With shoplifting, a property that is worth $300 or less will be a misdemeanor. The circumstances will dictate how the charges are filed and there could be a felony even if the amount is less than $300 and the string of crimes were continuous.
Whether it is a person who was stealing to profit or it was a young person who was behaving recklessly without understanding the consequences, charges related to theft can be serious and have a negative impact on a person's life. When there are theft charges, there are ways to craft a defense to reduce the charges and even gain an acquittal. A law firm that helps clients with criminal defense should be consulted with to determine the best course of action to defend against the charges.