Theft involves the supposed taking of property from another person, obtaining items through deception, shoplifting, refusing to pay for services, or even retaining property that you knew or should have known was stolen. Many children, teenagers, and young adults in Cherokee County face theft charges each year. A defendant’s age can play an important role in how their case will work. For instance, anyone under 17 who faces an arrest for an alleged theft will generally see their case move through the juvenile court. In addition, a conviction for an act of theft will have different consequences for a teenager who is 16 or younger versus a young adult who is 17 or older.
If you or your child was accused of theft or stealing, it is important to work with legal representation and reduce the effect that the accusation could have on the future. Mistakes happen, and we want to help teens or young adults move past the situation in the best way possible. Our Cherokee County theft lawyers understand this and can use many different strategies to minimize the impact of criminal charges.
State law lays out many statutes that deal with allegations of theft. The most direct example is theft by taking in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-8-2, which outlines that it is illegal to unlawfully take or be in lawful possession of the property of another while having the intent to deprive the owner of possession. Other examples of theft-related charges include taking by:
The main factor that determines the severity of a theft charge is the value of the items involved in the incident as well as prior theft convictions. As the value of the items rises, potential penalties increase as well.
If a theft case appears in juvenile court, as is likely when the accused is between the ages of 13 and 16, judges have a wider discretion when deciding on the appropriate resolution to a situation. However, an individual who is 17 or older will likely have their case heard in Municipal, State, or Superior Court, which would require looking at different approaches for how to handle the case. Our Cherokee County attorneys understand this and, whether we are representing a juvenile client or a young adult client, we can explore all the available options to try to achieve our client’s goals.
When deciding how to fight back against a theft charge, we need to get an understanding of how this charge will impact you or your loved one as well as your goals. With this information in mind, we can work together to decide whether it makes sense to take an approach where we create a plan to mitigate the impacts of the situation through actions you take as well as negotiations, we create a plan to fight the case, or we create a plan that combines both approaches to ensure every option is explored.
For cases where you want to mitigate the impacts of the situation through a negotiated outcome, we can recommend steps to take to put you in the best light with the prosecutor and the judge. We can also work with you to determine what other information about who you are as a person and where you are in life can be used to explain the situation. Bringing these things together, we can explore options for achieving a negotiated outcome.
When a teen or young adult theft case is being fought in court, there are important steps that need to be taken. First, we need to get an understanding of the situation and possible explanations and defenses our client may have. This includes finding any witnesses or other evidence that might be relevant. Then, we need to obtain a copy of all of the prosecution’s evidence. After reviewing all the relevant information, we determine whether there are factual or legal issues to be raised in a case.
As part of the process for fighting your case in court, our Cherokee County attorneys can work to exclude illegally obtained evidence, discover evidence that combats the concept of an illegal taking of property, and attack the prosecution’s case at trial.
For those wanting to explore every option for achieving the best outcome, we combine the approach of both mitigating the situation with exploring possible defenses. Any of these strategies could boost the chances of a positive case outcome for a teenage or young adult defendant, but it’s important to choose the best one for your unique circumstance.
Teenagers and young adults facing accusations of theft have many options moving forward. Whether it’s taking steps to mitigate the case or contest the allegations at trial, and a Cherokee County theft lawyer can help you in this process.
Our firm has the skills and experience necessary to protect an accused juvenile or young adult’s life. We aim to help you or your loved one move past theft accusations in the best way possible. To get started on protecting you or your loved one’s future, reach out to us today.