Two people from Georgia have been charged with felony grand larceny as well as other charges related to theft by taking after giving forged checks to area banks. Javonte Johnson and Alphonso Howard, both from Decatur, Georgia, face a variety of charges, including third-degree attempted grand larceny, felony third-degree grand larceny, and two counts of second-degree possession of forged instruments as well as fifth-degree conspiracy. They remain in the Warren County Jail.
What is Grand Larceny?
Theft by taking is called larceny in some states, but Georgia uses the terms theft by taking for larceny. Theft by taking is the crime of taking something of value with the purpose of permanently depriving the owner.
A theft charge can arise many different ways in Georgia. Some examples are theft by deception, theft by taking (or larceny), theft by shoplifting, and theft by conversion. Out of those crimes, theft by taking is the most common in Georgia.
Elements of Theft by Taking
Georgia defines the deprivation of property two ways. It can either mean withholding the property of another person permanently or temporarily or to dispose the property so that it is unlikely that the owner of the property will ever recover it. That is why it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the difference to help you fight against your charges.
Property of another may include the property that a person other than the accused has a direct interest in but does not include property that belongs to the spouse of the accused or property that is owned jointly by the accused. You are not guilty of theft for taking assets for which you have some sort of ownership.
Determining Property Value
Property value is the fair cash market value of the property at the time and place of the theft. However, parties may introduce evidence to help determine an item’s value. This includes testimony of the owner who has experience buying the item or other opinion evidence.
Penalties for Georgia Theft by Taking
Under Georgia law, theft by taking can be either a misdemeanor or felony based on how the property is valued. If the stolen property is worth less than $500 in value, the crime is a misdemeanor. The punishment for misdemeanor theft by taking includes a fine up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail. If the accused receives a jail sentence of less than six months, a judge may allow the sentence to be served by weekend confinement or the nonworking hours of the defendant.
If the stolen property is worth $500 or more, the crime will likely be a felony. Depending on several factors, you could go to jail for between one and 10 years. The punishment may also include restitution, fines, and exemplary monetary damages.
Representation of a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney
With such harsh penalties for theft by taking crimes, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. There are several defense options that may be available for your case. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law will consult with you and determine the best course of action for your case. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.