In Georgia, a theft by taking, known as larceny in other states, is a serious theft crime. A person commits this crime when they take someone else’s property without that person’s permission or legal authority. The person who takes the property has the intent to deprive the owner of their property forever when they take the property.
Can I Get in Trouble for Buying Something That Was Stolen Via a Theft by Taking?
Yes. Anyone who purchases an item that was stolen as a result of a theft by taking has committed a theft by receiving stolen property. The law makes it illegal to accept or purchase any type of property that was originally stolen. However, in order to be guilty of this crime, the alleged perpetrator must either know or should know that the property was stolen. If the purchaser has no reason to know that the property was stolen, such as being given assurances that the property was not stolen, then they are not guilty of this crime.
Is It Illegal to Purchase Stolen Property from Another State?
Yes. A person is guilty of theft by receiving property stolen in another state when they accept, dispose of, or retain stolen property from another state. As previously mentioned, the person must have either known or should have known the property was stolen and stolen from another state.
When Is It Legal to Purchase or Accept Stolen Property in Georgia?
The only time it is completely legal to accept or purchase out-of-state stolen property is when the person has the intent to give it back to the true owner. This is true even when the purchaser knows without a doubt that the property was stolen.
Is Theft by Receiving Property Stolen in Another State a Misdemeanor in Georgia?
It is a misdemeanor crime to receive property stolen in another state when the property is valued at $1,500 or under. If the property is valued above $1,500, then the crime is a felony. However, even if the property value otherwise makes the crime a felony, the crime can still be a misdemeanor if the judge chooses to lower the felony to a misdemeanor.
What Is the Criminal Sentence for a Misdemeanor in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, the punishment that one faces for a misdemeanor conviction is a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a county jail sentence of up to 12 months.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you are facing a theft charge, you will likely need help from legal representation to defend yourself. Contact a Georgia lawyer immediately to start fighting your charge.