Larceny is the unlawful taking of another individual’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of said property. Each state has its own law categorizing larceny as a crime. In Georgia, the statute outlawing larceny labels the criminal act as “theft by taking.”

What Is Theft by Taking?

Under Georgia law, a theft by taking occurs when a person takes or appropriates the property of another without the owner’s permission or the authority of the law. The perpetrator also must intend to deprive the victim of the stolen property for a theft by taking to have occurred. A theft by taking is a misdemeanor crime if the property in question has a value of $1,500 or less.

When Is Theft by Taking a Felony in Georgia?

Theft by taking is usually a felony crime when the property taken is valued over $1,500. However, a judge has the discretion to make the crime a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

What If the Stolen Property Is Less than $5,000?

The crime of theft by taking for any property worth more than $1,500 is automatically a felony, even if the property value is only one cent over $1,500. However, as previously mentioned, the judge has the power to lower the crime to a misdemeanor at their discretion.

The punishment for taking property more than $1,500 and less than $5,000 is one to five years in prison.

What Is the Punishment If the Judge Sentences Me to a Misdemeanor?

The punishment for a misdemeanor in Georgia is:

  • One year in county jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • Both a fine and a year in jail

Can I Use a Defense in My Theft by Taking Charge in Georgia?

Yes. However, the specific defenses available to a defendant depend on the facts of their case. For instance, they can claim lack of intent or ownership possession as defenses to show that they are not guilty.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me with My Case?

It is always smart to have legal assistance when defending yourself against a theft charge. Contact a Georgia criminal lawyer immediately for help with your misdemeanor or felony theft by taking case.