If you're looking for a Georgia online theft class, it's important to know your Georgia theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Georgia theft and shoplifting laws shown on this page are to aid you in understanding your state Georgia theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have made every attempt to show the most up-to-date version of Georgia theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a replacement for legal advice from a lawyer. It is in your best interest that you consult with an appropriate attorney for more information about Georgia theft laws.

  • 4 Hour Georgia Theft and Shoplifting Class – $99.00 — Register Now
  • 8 Hour Theft and Shoplifting Class — $149.00 — Register Now
  • 16 Advanced Shoplifting Class — $249.00 — Register Now
  • 24 Advanced Shoplifting Class — $349.00 — Register Now

Georgia Theft Laws

§ 16-8-1. Definitions

As used in this article, the term:

(1) "Deprive" means, without justification:

(A) To withhold property of another permanently or temporarily; or

(B) To dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.

(2) "Financial institution" means a bank, insurance company, credit union, building and loan association, investment trust, or other organization held out to the public as a place of deposit of funds or medium of savings or collective investment.

(3) "Property of another" includes property in which any person other than the accused has an interest but does not include property belonging to the spouse of an accused or to them jointly.

§ 16-8-2. Theft by taking

A person commits the offense of theft by taking when he unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which the property is taken or appropriated.

§ 16-8-3. Theft by deception

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by deception when he obtains property by any deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.

(b) A person deceives if he intentionally:

(1) Creates or confirms another's impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false;

(2) Fails to correct a false impression of an existing fact or past event which he has previously created or confirmed;

(3) Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved;

(4) Sells or otherwise transfers or encumbers property intentionally failing to disclose a substantial and valid known lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether such impediment is or is not a matter of official record; or

(5) Promises performance of services which he does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed. Evidence of failure to perform standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this subsection.

(c) "Deceitful means" and "artful practice" do not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.

§ 16-8-4. Theft by conversion

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by conversion when, having lawfully obtained funds or other property of another including, but not limited to, leased or rented personal property, under an agreement or other known legal obligation to make a specified application of such funds or a specified disposition of such property, he knowingly converts the funds or property to his own use in violation of the agreement or legal obligation. This Code section applies whether the application or disposition is to be made from the funds or property of another or from the accused's own funds or property in equivalent amount when the agreement contemplates that the accused may deal with the funds or property of another as his own.

(b) When, under subsection (a) of this Code section, an officer or employee of a government or of a financial institution fails to pay on an account, upon lawful demand, from the funds or property of another held by him, he is presumed to have intended to convert the funds or property to his own use. (c)(1) As used in this subsection, the term "personal property" means personal property having a replacement cost value greater than $100.00, excluding any late fees and penalties, and includes heavy equipment as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 10-1-731 and tractors and farm equipment primarily designed for use in agriculture.

(2) Any person having any personal property in such person's possession or under such person's control by virtue of a lease or rental agreement who fails to return the personal property within five days, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded, after a letter demanding return of the personal property has been mailed to such person by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at such person's last known address by the owner of the personal property or by the owner's agent shall be presumed to have knowingly converted such personal property to such person's own use in violation of such lease or agreement.

(3) In the event that any personal property is not returned as provided for in the lease or rental agreement and the court orders the lessor or renter to pay replacement costs, replacement costs shall include but not be limited to:

(A) The market value of the personal property. The market value shall be established by the owner of the property by providing from a supplier of such or reasonably similar personal property a current quotation of the value of the personal property which is of like quality, make, and model of the personal property being replaced. The value to be awarded shall be the higher of:

(i) The value on the date when the conversion occurred; or

(ii) The value on the date of the trial;

(B) All rental charges from the date the rental agreement was executed until the date of the trial or the date that the property was recovered, if recovered; and

(C) Interest on the unpaid balance each month at the current legal rate from the date the court orders the lessor or renter to pay replacement costs until the date the judgment is satisfied in full.

(4) If as a part of the order of the court the lessor or renter is placed on probation, supervision of said probation shall not be terminated until all replacement costs, fees, charges, penalties, interest, and other charges are paid in full. All payments relative to this Code section shall be made to the appropriate court of jurisdiction and the court shall make distribution to the owner within 30 days of receipt thereof.

(5) In the event that the owner incurs any expenses in the process of locating a lessor or renter who did not return any personal property according to the lease or rental agreement, the court shall provide that the lessor or renter reimburse the owner for those expenses which may include, but not be limited to, credit reports, private detective fees, investigation fees, fees charged by a law enforcement agency for such services as police reports, background checks, fees involved with swearing out a warrant for incarceration, and any other bona fide expenses.

§ 16-8-5. Theft of services

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

§ 16-8-6. Theft of lost or mislaid property

A person commits the offense of theft of lost or mislaid property when he comes into control of property that he knows or learns to have been lost or mislaid and appropriates the property to his own use without first taking reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner.

§ 16-8-7. Theft by receiving stolen property

(a) 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 restore it to the owner. "Receiving" means acquiring possession or control or lending on the security of the property.

(b) In any prosecution under this Code section it shall not be necessary to show a conviction of the principal thief.

16-8-8. Theft by receiving property stolen in another state

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

§ 16-8-9. Theft by bringing stolen property into state

A person commits the offense of theft by bringing stolen property into this state when he brings into this state any property which he knows or should know has been stolen in another state.

§ 16-8-12. Penalties for violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9

(a) A person convicted of a violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9 shall be punished as for a misdemeanor except:

(1) If the property which was the subject of the theft exceeded $500.00 in value, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or, in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor;

(2) If the property was any amount of anhydrous ammonia, as defined in Code Section 16-11-111, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine not to exceed the amount provided by Code Section 17-10-8, or both;

(3) If the property was taken by a fiduciary in breach of a fiduciary obligation or by an officer or employee of a government or a financial institution in breach of his or her duties as such officer or employee, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed the amount provided by Code Section 17-10-8, or both;

(4) If the crime committed was a violation of Code Section 16-8-2 and if the property which was the subject of the theft was a memorial to the dead or any ornamentation, flower, tree, or shrub placed on, adjacent to, or within any enclosure of a memorial to the dead, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as to cause action taken by a cemetery, cemetery owner, lessee, trustee, church, religious or fraternal organization, corporation, civic organization, or club legitimately attempting to clean, maintain, care for, upgrade, or beautify a grave, gravesite, tomb, monument, gravestone, or other structure or thing placed or designed for a memorial of the dead to be a criminal act;

(5)(A) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection notwithstanding, if the property which was the subject of the theft was a motor vehicle or was a motor vehicle part or component which exceeded $100.00 in value or if the theft or unlawful activity was committed in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393.5 or in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393.6 or while engaged in telemarketing conduct in violation of Chapter 5B of Title 10, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or, in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this paragraph shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 20 years.

(B) Subsequent offenses committed under this paragraph, including those which may have been committed after prior felony convictions unrelated to this paragraph, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17-10-7;

(6)(A) As used in this paragraph, the term:

(i) "Destructive device" means a destructive device as such term is defined by Code Section 16-7-80.

(ii) "Explosive" means an explosive as such term is defined by Code Section 16-7-80.

(iii) "Firearm" means any rifle, shotgun, pistol, or similar device which propels a projectile or projectiles through the energy of an explosive.

(B) If the property which was the subject of the theft offense was a destructive device, explosive, or firearm, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years;

(7) If the property which was the subject of the theft is a grave marker, monument, or memorial to one or more deceased persons who served in the military service of this state, the United States of America or any of the states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or any of the states thereof, or a monument, plaque, marker, or memorial which is dedicated to, honors, or recounts the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or any of the states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or any of the states thereof, and if such grave marker, monument, memorial, plaque, or marker is privately owned or located on privately owned land, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years if the value of the property which was the subject of the theft is $300.00 or less, and by imprisonment for not less than three years and not more than five years if the value of the property which was the subject of the theft is more than $300.00;

(8) If the property that was the subject of the theft was a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo or any appurtenance thereto, including without limitation any such trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than ten years, a fine not less than $5,000.00 nor more than $50,000.00, and, if applicable, the revocation of the defendant's commercial driver's license in accordance with Code Section 40-5-151, or any combination of such penalties. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "vehicle" includes without limitation any railcar; or

(9) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, if the property of the theft was ferrous metals or regulated metal property, as such terms are defined in Code Section 10-1-350, and the sum of the aggregate amount of such property, in its original and undamaged condition, plus any reasonable costs which are or would be incurred in the repair or the attempt to recover any property damaged in the theft or removal of such regulated metal property, exceeds $500.00, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this Code section, any person who commits the offense of theft by deception when the property which was the subject of the theft exceeded $500.00 in value and the offense was committed against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years.

(c) Where a violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9 involves the theft of a growing or otherwise unharvested commercial agricultural product which is being grown or produced as a crop, such offense shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than the maximum fine otherwise authorized by law. This minimum fine shall not in any such case be subject to suspension, stay, or probation. This minimum fine shall not be required in any case in which a sentence of confinement is imposed and such sentence of confinement is not suspended, stayed, or probated; but this subsection shall not prohibit imposition of any otherwise authorized fine in such a case.

§ 16-8-13. Theft of trade secrets

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Article" means any object, material, device, substance, or copy thereof, including any writing, record, recording, drawing, sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, microorganism, blueprint, or map.

(2) "Copy" means any facsimile, replica, photograph, or other reproduction of an article and any note, drawing, or sketch made of or from an article.

(3) "Representing" means describing, depicting, containing, constituting, reflecting, or recording.

(4) "Trade secret" means information, without regard to form, including, but not limited to, technical or nontechnical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which is not commonly known by or available to the public and which information:

(A) Derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and

(B) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

(b) Any person who, with the intent to deprive or withhold from the owner thereof the exclusive use of a trade secret, or with an intent to appropriate a trade secret to his or her own use or to the use of another, does any of the following:

(1) Takes, uses, or discloses such trade secret to an unauthorized person;

(2) Acquires knowledge of such trade secret by deceitful means or artful practice; or

(3) Without authority, makes or causes to be made a copy of an article representing such trade secret

commits the offense of theft of a trade secret and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years and by a fine of not more than $50,000.00, provided that, if the value of such trade secret, and any article representing such trade secret that is taken, is not more than $100.00 such person shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

(c) In a prosecution for any violation of this Code section, a court shall preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means, which may include granting protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding in camera hearings, sealing the records of the action, and ordering any person involved in the litigation not to disclose an alleged trade secret without prior court approval.

(d) For the purposes of this Code section, a continuing theft by any person constitutes a single claim against that person, but this Code section shall be applied separately to the claim against each person who receives a trade secret from another person who committed the theft.

(e) This Code section shall not affect:

(1) Contractual duties or remedies, whether or not based on theft of a trade secret; or

(2) The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-761 through 10-1-767, pertaining to civil offenses and remedies involving the misappropriation of a trade secret, or other civil or criminal laws that presently apply or in the future may apply to any transaction or course of conduct that violates this Code section.

§ 16-8-14. Theft by shoplifting

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when he alone or in concert with another person, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof or of the value thereof, in whole or in part, does any of the following:

(1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(3) Transfers 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 causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant's stated price for the merchandise. (b)(1) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is $300.00 or less in value shall be punished as for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that:

(A) Upon conviction of a second offense for shoplifting, where the first offense is either a felony or a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any imprisonment which might be imposed, the defendant shall be fined not less than $250.00 and the fine shall not be suspended or probated;

(B) Upon conviction of a third offense for shoplifting, where the first two offenses are either felonies or misdemeanors, or a combination of a felony and a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any fine which might be imposed, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days or confinement in a "special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp," probation detention center, diversion center, or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections for a period of 120 days or shall be sentenced to monitored house arrest for a period of 120 days and, in addition to either such types of confinement, may be required to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment to be paid for by the defendant; and such sentence of imprisonment or confinement shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld; and

(C) Upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent offense for shoplifting, where the prior convictions are either felonies or misdemeanors, or any combination of felonies and misdemeanors, as defined by this Code section, the defendant commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; and the first year of such sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft exceeds $300.00 in value commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

(3) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is taken from three separate stores or retail establishments within one county during a period of seven days or less and when the property which was the subject of each theft exceeds $100.00 in value, commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

(c) In all cases involving theft by shoplifting, the term "value" means the actual retail price of the property at the time and place of the offense. The unaltered price tag or other marking on property, or duly identified photographs thereof, shall be prima-facie evidence of value and ownership of the property.

(d) Subsection (b) of this Code section shall in no way affect the authority of a sentencing judge to provide for a sentence to be served on weekends or during the nonworking hours of the defendant as provided in Code Section 17-10-3, relative to punishment for misdemeanors.

§ 16-8-16. Theft by extortion

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by extortion when he unlawfully obtains property of or from another person by threatening to:

(1) Inflict bodily injury on anyone or commit any other criminal offense;

(2) Accuse anyone of a criminal offense;

(3) Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business repute;

(4) Take or withhold action as a public official or cause an official to take or withhold action;

(5) Bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other collective unofficial action if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or

(6) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense.

(b) In a prosecution under this Code section, the crime shall be considered as having been committed in the county in which the threat was made or received or in the county in which the property was unlawfully obtained.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of this Code section that the property obtained by threat of accusation, exposure, legal action, or other invocation of official action was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstance to which such accusation, exposure, legal action, or other official action relates or as compensation for property or lawful services.

(d) A person convicted of the offense of theft by extortion shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

§ 16-8-20. Livestock theft

(a) A person commits the offense of livestock theft when he unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession thereof, unlawfully appropriates any livestock of another with the intention of depriving the owner of such livestock.

(b) For the purposes of this Code section, the term "livestock" means horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, and any domestic animal produced as food for human consumption.

(c) Any person committing the offense of livestock theft commits a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years and by a fine of $1,000.00; provided, however, that, if the fair market value of the livestock taken or appropriated is $100.00 or less, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(d) For the purposes of this Code section, if any livestock is killed or mutilated and a portion thereof taken, the value of the whole animal while alive or his entire carcass, whichever is greater, shall be considered for the purpose of distinguishing between a misdemeanor offense and a felony offense.

You might also be interested in Georgia Theft and Shoplifting Classes.

Georgia Theft Class

  • Class is Completely Online
  • Accepted Throughout the Nation
  • Available Anytime
  • Completion Certificate Shipped Free
  • Superior Customer Support
  • Free Online Enrollment Verification
  • Free Certificate Shipping
  • Instant Access
  • Written and Designed by Professionals
  • 100% Guaranteed