According to reports out of Peachtree Corners and Gwinnett County, police are searching for a man who has been accused of stealing a Chevrolet truck and then robbing a beauty store.
The unidentified man was wearing bright blue pants and a white apron when he asked the owner of the vehicle for a ride. When the owner refused, the man got into the truck and drove away. No weapons were apparently used. Chamblee police arrived on the scene to investigate, when not even 30 minutes later, a man matching this description robbed a beauty store of a couple hundred dollars.
Police have not detained the individual yet, and he was last seen driving the same truck on Jimmy Carter Boulevard.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the first offense that the unidentified man has been accused of committing if the alleged facts are true. However, if a weapon was used in the taking of the vehicle, then the man is looking at charges of hijacking a motor vehicle in Georgia which carries a more serious penalty.
Theft by Taking in Georgia
Theft by Taking in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-8-2 as:
A person commits the offense of theft by taking when he 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 the property is taken or appropriated.
Theft by taking is the most common type of theft in the state of Georgia. Theft by taking encompasses a large area and it is important to have legal representation that understands the legal differences.
The penalty for theft by taking can either be a misdemeanor or felony in Georgia. When the theft involves property valued at $500 or less, 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. The judge can use discretion when determining whether to regard the offense as a misdemeanor or 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.
However, there are other circumstances that can elevate the penalty of a theft by taking conviction. One of these circumstances includes the details of the case above. If a person is found guilty of taking a motor vehicle that is valued more than $1000, then the conviction is automatically a felony and can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.
There are many other types of theft crimes in the state of Georgia. Most people believe that theft is straightforward, however, our laws are actually quite complicated. There are certain actions that may qualify as theft that a person would not originally consider as stealing.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.