Have You Been Charged with Theft by Bringing Stolen Property into Georgia?
Theft crimes cover a multitude of offenses including shoplifting, theft by deception, theft by extortion, and theft of cargo. Theft crimes also include bringing stolen property into Georgia. It can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged with misdemeanor or felony theft by bringing stolen property into Georgia you need a Georgia Theft of Bringing Stolen Property now.
What is Theft of Bringing Stolen Property into Georgia?
According to O.C.G.A. § 16-8-9, a person commits the crime of bringing stolen property into this state when they bring property into Georgia that they know or should have known has been stolen in another state.
A person's knowledge that the property was stolen in another state could be inferred from direct or circumstantial evidence. The jury can look at the circumstances to determine if the evidence would lead a reasonable person to believe the property was stolen.
Georgia Case Law
Clarence Cunningham was convicted of bringing stolen property into Georgia. Cunningham v. State, 222 Ga. App. 740. A resident of Tennessee reported his 1971 Ford truck stolen around 9:30 p.m. on November 13, 1994. Later that night in Whitfield County, Georgia, the Sheriff's department received a call about a driver of a Ford pickup that was involved in a domestic dispute at a Waffle House. The officers observed the pickup truck in Cunningham's possession with an extra license plate on the seat. Therefore, the jury found there was sufficient evidence demonstrating that Cunningham brought the stolen truck into Georgia and he was convicted under O.C.G.A. §16-8-9.
Penalty for Theft by Bringing Stolen Property into Georgia
A conviction for theft by bringing stolen property into this state can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property taken.
A person will be guilty of misdemeanor theft by bringing stolen property into Georgia in most circumstances.
However, if the property was worth more than $24,999.99, then it will be a felony punished by a prison term between two and twenty years.
If the property as valued between $5,000 and $25,000, then the prison term will be between one and ten years. It could also be considered a misdemeanor in the discretion of the trial judge.
Lastly, if the property was between $1,500.01 but less than $5,000, then the prison term will be between one and five years. Also, it is in the discretion of the trial judge for it to be treated as a misdemeanor.
If the defendant has two prior violations, then a third conviction will result in the defendant being convicted of a felony. The penalty will be a prison term between one and five years.
Defenses to Theft by Bringing Stolen Property into Georgia
The value was miscalculated: Because the value of the property taken directly determines the sentence, it is crucial that it is accurate. If it was estimated using anything other the fair market value, then that is not an appropriate measurement.
I had consent from the owner: Consent from the owner to bring the property into Georgia would be a sufficient defense.
Mistaken identity: If you were not the person that took the cargo, then you need a Georgia Theft by Bringing Stolen Property into this State Attorney to help with your defense. Police officers make mistakes, and you may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It was an accident: The statute requires that the property is taken into Georgia knowing it was stolen. Evidence that you did not have knowledge and a reasonable person would not have known would be an acceptable defense. However, it is best to hire a Georgia Theft by Bringing Stolen Property Lawyer because this is a complicated argument.
What are not Defenses
I did not have direct knowledge that the property was stolen: Just because you did not have direct knowledge does not mean you cannot be convicted. The jury is authorized to look at whether there was circumstantial evidence that would have led a reasonable person to believe the property was stolen.
The crime of theft by bringing stolen property into this state a grave offense in Georgia and requires the expertise of our Georgia Attorneys. The consequences of being convicted of theft of cargo will have a significant effect on your life. Your job, family, friends, will all feel the consequences. However, a charge is not the same as a conviction. Our Lawyers have decades of criminal defense experience and can help you achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.