There are different types of theft in Georgia and, depending on the circumstances, the penalties will also differ if there is a conviction. Some people might shoplift, commit burglary or commit a robbery with a weapon. Others, however, will be accused of doing damage to an establishment, take as much as they can and then flee. This is also referred to as a "smash and grab."
With a smash and grab, there are certain characteristics and specific penalties should the person be convicted. When accused of smash and grab, it is not only important to understand what the term means, but it is vital to have legal assistance to formulate a sound defense. The establishment that was subjected to the smash and grab must be a retail establishment and it must sell items from a certain location. This includes an establishment that sells meals and other perishable goods.
If a person enters that establishment intending to commit theft and while doing so does at least $500 in damage, it will be considered a smash and grab. If a person is charged with smash and grab and is convicted, it will be a felony. There can be a minimum of two years of incarceration and a maximum of 20 years. There can also be a fine of $100,000 or both. If it is a second conviction or more, the person will be imprisoned for at least five years and as much as 20 years. The fine will also be up to $100,000.
Being charged with any form of theft can result in serious consequences. When it is a smash and grab and there is damage to the establishment along with the theft, the penalties are harsh and can have a negative impact on a person's life with jail time, fines and long-term problems even after they have served their debt to society. Perhaps a plea bargain can be reached or there can be reasonable doubt established to get an acquittal. To avoid the worst penalties, it is imperative to have representation from a law firm experienced in defending people charged with theft.