Vigorous Defense Against Theft Charges

Theft charges come with a litany of serious consequences, from losing your freedom to losing thousands of dollars in fines. You may potentially lose gainful employment, and may suffer a loss of reputation as a result of facing criminal charges. However, an experienced attorney can work by your side, helping protect your rights no matter the severity of the situation.

I am Timothy McCalep, and I founded my practice with the intention of providing strong and capable legal representation to individuals across Atlanta and Fulton County. As a seasoned litigator, I bring an assertive approach to the cases I handle. I look forward to representing my clients in trial. However, I know that's not often the best approach. I work with my clients to determine the optimal legal strategy, whether it involves court or tough, aggressive negotiation. The goals of my clients are my own, and I strive to reach favorable conclusions in all my cases.

Extensive Theft Representation

I represent clients who have been charged with a wide variety of theft offenses, including:

Petty Theft v. Grand Theft

Petty theft and grand theft are two classifications of theft. Petty theft, also know as misdemeanor theft is the offense charged when an individual takes the property of another that is valued at a dollar amount under $300.00. On the other hand, a theft becomes grand theft or felony theft when the property value exceeds $300.00.

A person convicted of petty they can be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail or subjected to a fine not to exceed $1000.00. Those individuals convicted of grand theft can face up to 10 years in prison.

Let me review the facts of your case. Let me fight your fight!

Theft by Taking/ Theft by Receiving/ Theft by Conversion

Type of Theft

Punishment

Theft by Taking

A person commits theft by taking when he or she unlawfully takes the property of another or while in lawful passion of another’s property, appropriates it with the intent of depriving that person of his or her property.

Whether you are guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the property taken. If the stolen property is valued at $1,500 or less, the theft by taking is a standard misdemeanor and punishable by to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

If the property is valued at $25,000 or more, the theft by taking is a felony offense and the prison sentence ranges from two to 20 years.

If the property is property valued between $5,000.00 to $24,999.00, the theft by taking is also a felony and punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment.

If the property is valued at $1,500.01 to $4,999.00, the theft by taking is also a felony and the prison sentence ranges from one to five years.

Theft by Receiving

A person commits the offense of theft by receiving stolen property when he receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property which he knows or should know was stolen unless the property is received, disposed of, or retained with intent to give it back to the to the owner.

If the stolen property is valued at $1,500 or less, the theft by receiving is a standard misdemeanor and punishable by to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

If the property is valued at $25,000 or more, the theft by receiving is a felony offense and the prison sentence ranges from two to 20 years.

If the property is property valued between $5,000.00 to $24,999.00, the theft by receiving is also a felony and punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment.

If the property is valued at $1,500.01 to $4,999.00, the theft by receiving is also a felony and the prison sentence ranges from one to five years.

Theft by Conversion

Theft by conversion occurs when an individual lawfully obtains another person's money or property and converts it to his or her own use. Theft by conversion is also applicable to rental property that a person fails to return to its owner upon demand.

Theft by conversion is punished as a misdemeanor if the amount of the converted goods totals less than $500.00, subjected a person to up to 12 months in jail and a fine. If the total value of the goods is more than $500.00 it is considered a felony and punishable by imprisonment ranging from one to 10 years.

An accusation of theft can certainly alter both your personal and professional lives. Everything depends on the facts of your case and any defenses or strategies that may affect the outcome. Contact Timothy McCalep to determine your defense against your theft charge.

Theft of Services

A person commits theft of services when by deception and the intent to avoid payment, he or she knowingly obtains services, accommodations, entertainment, or the use of personal property, only available for payment.

Examples of services include:

  • Internet access
  • Cleaning services
  • Use of a rental car or boat
  • Use of a rental property
  • Spa treatments
  • Hair salon services
  • Car or home repairs

What are the Consequences of a Theft of Services Conviction?

If the service is valued at $1,500 or less, the theft by receiving is a standard misdemeanor and punishable by to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

If the service is valued at $25,000 or more, the theft by receiving is a felony offense and the prison sentence ranges from two to 20 years.

If the service is property valued between $5,000.00 to $24,999.00, the theft by receiving is also a felony and punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment.

If the service is valued at $1,500.01 to $4,999.00, the theft by receiving is also a felony and the prison sentence ranges from one to five years.

There are multiple possible defenses to theft of services, such as proof of payment or false claims. It is important that you contact a law contact me, Timothy McCalep so we can discuss your possible defenses and work to resolve your case immediately.

Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a very serious offense in Georgia. A split second decision can tarnish your reputation and also ruin your professional career. Georgia has recently changed its shoplifting law. Many people are unaware that shoplifting is more than walking out a store with merchandise that was not paid for.

According to the new law, a person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when he or she, either alone or in a group, intends to take merchandise for his or her own using without paying for it by doing the following:

  1. Concealing or taking possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
  2. Altering the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
  3. Transferring the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;
  4. Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or
  5. Wrongfully causing the amount paid to be less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise.

What is the Punishment for Shoplifting in Georgia?

Punishment varies based on the value of the merchandise taken.

A person convicted of shoplifting, when the stolen merchandise is worth more than $500.00, commits a felony and will be punished by imprisonment for at least one year, but not more than ten years. On the other hand, a person convicted of shoplifting, where the merchandise taken valued at $500.00 or less commits a misdemeanor offense and will be subjected to imprisonment up to 12 months, a fine, or both imprisonment and a fine.

2nd Shoplifting Offense- despite whether the first offense was a misdemeanor or a felony shoplifting offense, punishment will also include a fine of $500.00, which cannot be suspended or probated.

3rd Shoplifting Offense- despite whether the first two offenses are misdemeanors or felonies, aside form the required fines, punishment will also include a mandatory prison sentence of at least 30 days or confinement in a "special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp," probation detention center or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections for 120 days or will be sentenced to 120 days of house arrest.

4th Shoplifting Offense- despite whether the first three offenses are misdemeanors or felonies, punishment will be imprisonment for at least one year and at most 10 years; the first year cannot be suspended, deferred, or probated.

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, you should not take the charge lightly, even if it’s your first offense. However, because shoplifting is a common first criminal offense committed by most first time offenders, there are other methods of handling the case that do not involve imprisonment. Hire Timothy McCalep today to see if he can find you an alternative to imprisonment.

Auto Theft

Georgia does not have a law that is specific to the nonviolent taking of a motor vehicle. Instead a person charged with auto theft will be charged under the theft by taking (link to theft by taking page), and if convicted, sentenced based on the value of the vehicle at the time it was stolen.

Georgia law does specifically address the hijacking of a motor vehicle, which is defined as the taking of a car from another person by force and violence or intimidation, while in possessing a firearm or other weapon.

Punishment for hijacking a motor vehicle in the first degree is imprisonment for at least than ten years, but not more than 20 and a fine ranging between $10,000.00 and $100,000.00. A person convicted of hijacking a motor vehicle in the second degree will be punished, following a first conviction, by imprisonment ranging from one to 10 years and a fine no greater than $5,000.00.

2nd Hijacking Conviction- a person will be subjected to imprisonment for at least three years, but not to exceed 15 years and a maximum fine of $5,000.00.

3rd Hijacking Conviction- a person will be punished by imprisonment for no less than five and no more than 20 years, plus a fine not to exceed $5,000.00.

If you are charged with motor vehicle theft or motor vehicle hijacking in Georgia, you should contact an attorney immediately.

Burglary

In Georgia, burglary is categorized as first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary.

First Degree

A person commits burglary in the first degree when, without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft, enters and/ or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure used as a dwelling place for another person.

If convicted, punishment includes: imprisonment ranging from one to 20 years for the first offense, imprisonment ranging from two to 20 years for the second offense, and imprisonment ranging from five to 25 years for the third and any subsequent offense.

Second Degree

A person commits burglary in the second degree when, without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft, enters and/ or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant building, structure, railroad car, watercraft, or aircraft.

If convicted, punishment includes: imprisonment ranging from one to five years for the first offense and imprisonment ranging from two to 20 years for the second offense, and imprisonment ranging from one to eight years for the second and any subsequent offense.

You need an attorney with both an understanding of the law and your unique facts. Before you speak to law enforcement officers and other individuals about your case, you need to seek the advice of a skilled, aggressive attorney. Protect your rights by calling the Law Office of Timothy McCalep. Together we can ensure justice is served on your behalf.

Robbery/ Armed Robbery

A person commits a robbery when, with intent to commit theft, he or she takes the property of another individual from his or her person or presence by:

  1. Use of force;
  2. Intimidation­­–– a threat or coercion, placing a person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury to himself or herself or to another individual; or
  3. Sudden snatching.

Robbery is a felony offense and a person convicted of robbery may face up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, any person convicted of a robbery against a person who is 65 years old or older faces punishment ranging from five years to 20 years in prison. A robbery conviction can also result in life imprisonment, if the accused offender commits the robbery by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device having the appearance of a weapon.

To your advantage, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to commit a theft and that he or she intended to use an offensive weapon to complete that theft. This proof requirement allows me an opportunity to question the evidence presented and successfully win case that seems doomed from the start. Generally prosecutors and judges not seeking to impose a 20-year prison sentence on a robbery charge, however, in armed robbery cases, judges must impose the mandatory 10-year jail sentence. It is crucial that you hire attorney to handle your case. I may be able to the reduction necessary to change your circumstances. Contact me today for a free consultation and discussion of your robbery case.

I also help clients who are facing identity theft and credit card theft charges.

In Georgia, if a weapon has been used in relation to any theft charges, the consequences are that much more serious. As a comprehensive criminal lawyer, I provide full-service representation in criminal cases, and I'll work on your behalf so that your rights are fully respected.

Vigilant Legal Counsel, On Your Side

At The Law Office of Timothy McCalep, I am dedicated to providing you with thorough representation. To discuss your legal issue with me, call 404-692-7525 or use thecontact form to schedule a consultation.