While having to address a criminal charge likely never hit your “bucket list” in life, it is now something with which you must contend. You may not think that the charges should apply to your situation or that some kind of misunderstanding resulted in your facing allegations. Nonetheless, you will likely have to go through formal legal proceedings in order to explain your side of things.
Unfortunately, criminal legal proceedings can be long and difficult, and you may find yourself losing months of your life due to having to make court appearances, discuss issues with your legal counsel and generally handle the matters of your case. In efforts to help move your case along as swiftly as possible, you need to understand the charges you face as well as possible.
Theft charges in Georgia
If the allegations brought against you involve theft, you may have a general idea of what that means but may not have a clear and thorough understanding of the specific allegation brought against you. First, you should determine which of the following types of theft you stand accused of:
- Petty theft: If authorities suspect that you took property below a certain value, commonly below $500 or $1,000 depending on specific state laws, you likely face a petty theft charge. While this is typically considered a misdemeanor, it could still have serious effects on your life.
- Grand theft: If you stand accused of taking property that exceeds the threshold for petty theft, then you may face grand theft charges, which fall into the category of a felony. This type of allegation could come with much more severe penalties than petty theft.
The specifics of your case will play a role in the type of charge brought against you, but it typically hinges of the value of the property and the type of property involved. Additionally, the prosecution would have to prove that the two key elements of theft apply to your case, which include the taking of someone else’s property and having the intent of keeping that property from its rightful owner permanently.
Creating your defense
Undoubtedly, you will not want to sit idly by while the court and a jury determines whether they should consider you guilty of the charge. Fortunately, you have legal rights and options for creating and presenting a criminal defense. The exact defense options available will depend on the specifics of your case, so gaining reliable information from a legal advocate may prove useful to you.