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theft by taking


Georgia criminal law defines theft in several different ways. Defendants are charged with theft by taking, theft by conversion, theft by shoplifting, and theft by deception crimes. There is even theft by extortion in Georgia. With the different definitions of theft, you need a Georgia licensed criminal defense attorney in your legal corner to ensure you enjoy all of the rights granted to defendants in theft cases. At Garland Law Group, our team of highly rated criminal defense lawyers have helped dozens of clients win not guilty verdicts for theft by taking charges.

Referred to as larceny in most states, theft by taking in Georgia is defined by the Model Penal Code for criminal conduct. Theft by taking is defined in Georgia as taking anything of value from the owner of goods and/or property, with the intent not to give whatever was taken back to the original owner.

Georgia statute O.C.G.A. §16-8-2 defines theft by taking, which is the most common type of theft in Georgia, to happen “when a person unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which property is taken or appropriated.”

Important Term of Georgia Theft by Taking Laws

Georgia criminal law defines the important term “deprive” as “to withhold property of another permanently or temporarily or to dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.” Property of another “includes property in which any person other than the accused has an interest but does not include property belonging to the spouse of an accused or them jointly.” One of the first things the team of criminal defense attorneys as Garland Law Group does is to determine whether our clients have any ownership stake in the property that was allegedly stolen by taking.

What are the Penalties for Theft by Taking in Georgia?

Georgia sets the line at $500 for defining whether a theft by taking defendant should be charged with a felony or with a misdemeanor. Defendants charged with theft by taking in cases valued over $500 can expect a felony charge. Misdemeanor theft by taking charges result in no more than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If a defendant receives a misdemeanor for a theft by taking charge and the penalty is less than six months in jail, the judge presiding over the case has the discretion to assign the defendant to weekend only confinement.

Felony theft by taking convictions typically result in prison sentences spanning between one and 10 years. However, judges can issue harsher penalties in special circumstances. A bank or a government employee that takes company or agency property can receive up to 15 years in prison. Theft by taking a gravesite or cemetery decoration results in an automatic sentence running between one and three years of jail time.

Type of Theft by Taking Defenses

The highly skilled criminal defense attorneys at Garland Law Group have several ways to defend clients that the State of Georgia has charged with theft by taking. As one of the most persuasive strategies, we present evidence that clears the good name of our clients. Proving innocence involves establishing a rock solid alibi and/or presenting compelling evidence that plants the seed of “reasonable doubt” into the minds of the jury. We investigate each theft by taking case to find witnesses that corroborate alibis, as well as physical evidence that exonerates our clients.

Here are some other common defenses for theft by taking case in Georgia:

  • There was not a theft of any kind

  • Item in question was repossessed, not stolen

  • Charge should be only one count of theft

  • There was not an intent to steal by taking

  • Intention was to borrow the item in question


Intent is a vital component for proving guilt in a debt by taking case. Simply walking away with something value means nothing legally in the State of Georgia because of the lack of intent.

One defense of a theft by taking charge that Georgia case law has established involves intoxication. Since theft by taking is considered a crime that requires intent, we might be able to defend charges against the crime if we can demonstrate you were intoxicated at the time of the theft by taking incident. A provable intoxication case removes intent, which makes the original charge of theft by taking not applicable for a criminal court.

A conviction for theft by taking can haunt you for the rest of your life. Job prospects become scarce, that is, if you receive any offers at all. If you have been charged with theft by taking in the State of Georgia, you must act with a sense of urgency by contacting a Georgia licensed criminal defense lawyer who specializes in theft by taking cases.

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