What is the difference between a robbery and a theft? A robbery occurs when a person takes another’s property from that person’s immediate presence by either use of force, intimidation, threat, coercion, or by placing the person in fear of immediate serious bodily harm to himself or another. A robbery can also occur by ‘sudden snatching’ from the victim’s immediate person. Robbery in Georgia is a felony, punishable by up to twenty (20) years in prison. The experienced Atlanta criminal attorneys at the Margolis Legal Group successfully defend clients in robbery and theft cases on a regular basis.

If a weapon is used in a robbery, the charge then becomes one of Armed Robbery. Armed Robbery is punishable by a minimum of ten (10) years in prison without parole, to a maximum of twenty (20) years or life in prison.

Theft is a more general type of charge that does not necessarily involve the taking of property from a person’s immediate presence. The severity of punishment for a theft offense depends mainly on the value of the item or items taken. Generally, theft of items worth less than $500 are a misdemeanor, punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail. Theft of items worth more than $500 are a felony, punishable by one (1) to ten (10) years in prison. The most common theft offenses we see charged in the State of Georgia are: Theft by Taking, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, Theft by Deception, and Theft by Conversion.

Another frequently prosecuted theft offense in which the Atlanta criminal lawyers at the Margolis Legal Group can assist is that of Theft by Shoplifting, which involves the taking of merchandise from a store without paying for it. A person commits the offense of Theft by Shoplifting when he or she:

  • Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
  • Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;
  • Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;
  • Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or
  • Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant’s stated price for the merchandise.

Generally, the shoplifting of items worth less than $300 are punished as a misdemeanor (up to twelve (12) months in jail), though there are much harsher mandatory minimum penalties for repeat offenders. Generally, shoplifting of items worth more than $300 is a felony punishable by one (1) to ten (10) years in prison. Also, a person with three prior shoplifting convictions who is charged with a fourth offense will face felony shoplifting charges carrying mandatory prison time, regardless of the value of the items taken.

The Margolis Legal Group, P.C. successfully defends clients on a regular basis who are charged with these and other types of theft offenses throughout the state of Georgia. If you are charged with a Robbery or Theft offense, don’t go to court without an aggressive, experienced and determined Atlanta criminal attorney at your side. Call for your free consultation and let us help.