Theft is the act of taking something from another person without his or her permission. Under Georgia law, theft is categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense, depending on the value of the money or property in question.
If the value of the property is less than $500, the theft will be charged as a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:
- A maximum $1,000 fine
- Up to 12 months in jail
Ultimately, the judge in the case has discretion as to how a theft case will be charged. If the value of the property was over $500, he or she may choose to charge the offense as a felony. Penalties for felony theft include:
- One to 10 years in prison
- A permanent felony conviction on your record
Other Types of Theft
Theft of the following is always charged as a felony in Georgia:
- Motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts valued over $100
- Government or bank property of any value taken by an employee
- Anhydrous ammonia (a hazardous substance that is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine) of any amount
- Cemetery or grave site decoration of any value
- Firearm, explosive or destructive device of any value
Theft committed while using a computer or telemarketing, while making a repair to someone’s home or theft that involves the breach of a fiduciary relationship will also be charged as a felony.
Theft in Civil Court
In addition to facing criminal charges from the state, you could also be sued by the alleged victim of a theft in civil court. The plaintiff could sue for monetary damages on top of the value of the property or money that was allegedly stolen.