There may be a tendency to think that certain criminal accusations are not as serious as others, however, it is important to keep in mind that any criminal accusation can have serious consequences. Accusations of crime can have far-reaching consequences for individuals facing them and those facing such accusations should be aware of these consequences when determining how to respond to criminal charges.
Individuals accused of theft and property crimes should keep in mind that an accused theft over $500 can quickly jump to a felony theft charge, which can carry significant penalties. There are a variety of different types of theft and property crimes an individual may face in Georgia, depending on the situation. The charges can include shoplifting; theft and felony theft; theft by check; employee theft and embezzlement; auto theft; burglary or breaking and entering; and robbery or armed robbery.
At times, authorities do not have strong evidence against a defendant or may have violated the defendant's rights when collecting evidence but may proceed with the charges. It is important to keep in mind that in these circumstances, it may be possible to challenge the charges the defendant is facing based on the improper actions of authorities or a lack of thoroughness. Potential punishments for theft and property crimes can include imprisonment; fines and fees; community service; probation; a criminal record; and education-related consequences.
A strong criminal defense strategy may be able to negotiate alternate outcomes or punishments or may be able to prevent a criminal record for the defendant. It is important to be familiar with criminal defense rights and options to help minimize the future impact of any type of criminal charge, including theft charges.