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What is a felony theft in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Criminal Law |

In Georgia, theft laws differentiate between minor slip-ups and major felony offenses. Different types of theft can lead to varying legal outcomes, from fees and community service to imprisonment and felony charges.

It is important to understand the state’s theft laws to comprehend how a brief lapse in judgment can lead to lasting consequences.

Misdemeanor or felony theft

Committing theft of property valued at $500 or less is typically a misdemeanor charge and could result in up to one year in jail. Theft of property valued over $500 is often a felony, which can lead to heavier fines and a longer prison sentence.

In some circumstances, thefts are felony offenses even if the property’s value is low. Stealing anhydrous ammonia or property from a government site or bank is a serious crime in Georgia. This is also true for offenses involving cemeteries and military monuments or memorials. The exact penalty depends on various factors, including the offender’s criminal history and the unique details of the theft.

Penalties for theft

The penalties for a theft conviction in Georgia vary widely. For example, prison sentences for theft can range from one year to over 20 years. Fines and restitution are also common penalties. The court sets their amounts based on the specifics of the theft. Restitution aims to compensate the victim for their loss, attempting to rectify the financial damage caused by the crime.

Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a theft conviction has long-term personal consequences. It can limit someone’s ability to find work or housing. In particular, the stigma of a felony record can harm a person’s social and economic opportunities.

In Georgia, the consequences of theft charges depend on the nature of the offense and the value stolen.