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Understanding the consequences of shoplifting in Georgia

If you take property from a store, even if it was accidental, it is possible that you will face legal consequences, no matter how low in value the property was. If you have been accused of shoplifting in Georgia, you will need to take the time to understand the law. By doing so, you will be in a better position to defend yourself and potentially avoid charges.

 The following is an overview of the definitions of both theft and theft by shoplifting in Georgia, as well as an overview of the penalties that you may face if found guilty of either crime.

The definition of theft in Georgia 

The crime of theft is considered to have taken place in Georgia when a person unlawfully takes or is in possession of the property of another with the intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the owner of their property. 

The definition of theft by shoplifting in Georgia 

Shoplifting is considered to be a specific type of theft. It occurs when a person conceals or takes possession of goods in a retail establishment. The crime of shoplifting is not limited to an instance in which property is taken from a store. It could also be a situation in which a customer alters the price tag or wrongfully pays less than what the item was worth.

The penalties for shoplifting in Georgia 

The penalty for shoplifting in Georgia will depend on the value of the property you stole. If the property was valued at less than $500, you’ll face a misdemeanor charge, which will result in a maximum of one year in jail and a fine. Shoplifting property over the value of $500, and other specific thefts such as theft involving a gravesite, will be charged as a felony and could lead to up to 10 years in jail plus a fine.

 If you have been accused of shoplifting in Georgia, take swift action to understand your defense options.