Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Atlanta Family Accuses House Sitter of Felony Theft

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

An Atlanta family has accused a house sitter of stealing both jewelry and clothing from their home as well as trashing their home.

Police arrested Meaghan Owens on a count of felony theft after allegedly finding the family's valuables in her car during an investigation after the accusation was made. The family stated that they had met with Owens several different times before deciding to employ her to watch after their home. And according to them, her references checked out really well.

In today's post, I will outline the most common type of theft in the state of Georgia as that is most likely what Owens is facing charges of… theft by taking.

Theft by Taking in Georgia

Theft by Taking in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-8-2 of the Georgia Code as:

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.

The term “deprive” has two different meanings according to Georgia Law. First, deprive can mean to withhold property of another permanently or temporarily. Second, deprive can mean to dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it. 

The penalty for theft by taking can either be a misdemeanor or felony in Georgia.

If the theft involves property valued at $500 or less, then the crime will be deemed a misdemeanor in Georgia. The consequences of a misdemeanor include a fine of no more than $1,000 and a jail sentence of no more than 12 months.

If the theft involves property worth more than $500, the crime will more than likely be deemed a felony. If you receive a felony charge, then theft brings a penalty of a prison sentence of no less than one year and no more than ten years. Ultimately, it is up to the judge about whether or not the crime will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Practice Note

There are many ways that a person can commit a theft crime in the state of Georgia. These crimes can include: theft by taking, theft by receiving, theft by deception, theft by shoplifting, etc.

If you have been accused of committing a theft in the state of Georgia, it is vital to have representation from a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer who understands the subtle differences between the different laws as well as how to properly defend accusations and allegations. Contact us now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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