According to reports out of North Georgia, Bradley and Pamela Jo Watson are each facing nine counts of theft by taking in Georgia. Bradley is also facing additional counts of theft by deception and theft by receiving in Georgia.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will expand on the law behind theft by deception in today's post. Theft by taking is the most common type of theft in the state of Georgia. However, there are many types of theft according to Georgia Law, so let's explore it further today.
Theft by Deception in Georgia
Theft by deception in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-8-3 as:
A person commits the crime of theft by deception when he obtains property by any deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.
The law goes on to define what legally constitutes the term “deceive.” According to the law there are five different ways in which a person can deceive another intentionally:
Creates or confirms another's impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false;
Fails to correct a false impression of an existing or past even which he has previously created or confirmed;
Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved;
Sells or otherwise transfer or encumbers property intentionally failing to disclose a substantial valid known lien, adverse claim, or another legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether such impediment is or is not a matter of official record; or
Promises performance of services, which he does not intend to perform or knows, will not be performed.
To be convicted of theft by deception, the prosecution must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the State's job to prove that the accused made false representations, knowing that they were false, with the intent to deceive and defraud the victim, and, the victim relied on those representations when agreeing to part with their property.
As with other theft crimes, whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the money or property stolen. If the property stolen is valued at less than $500, then you will be charged with misdemeanor theft by deception. If the money or property is assessed at more than $500, then you will likely be charged with felony theft by deception.
A misdemeanor theft by deception conviction can result in up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $1,000 as well as restitution to the victim. A felony theft by deception conviction can result in up to ten years in prison.
If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a theft or fraud crime, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for you.