Raising a teenager presents many challenges. Sometimes these challenges can involve your teen getting into legal trouble.

Unfortunately, theft and shoplifting are common crimes among teenagers, though arrest rates in recent years. Petty theft and larceny are minor crimes, but they can venture into felonies if your child is not aware of the difference between the two.

The laws that define felony theft from a misdemeanor theft in the state of Georgia are as follows.

Felony threshold

Each state has a different threshold for what monetary value of stolen goods constitutes felony-level theft. In Georgia, this is $500. If your child steals over this amount, they will be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

However, there are still some cases where stolen goods less than $500 can be charged as felonies.

Other thefts punishable as felonies

Even if the theft is valued at less than $500, there are a few different ways it can still be charged as a felony. Some of these include:

  • Stealing property of the government if you are an employee
  • Stealing a vehicle or vehicle part over $100
  • Stealing a firearm or explosive device

Shoplifting and shoplifting felonies

Shoplifting has a different felony threshold in Georgia. Shoplifted property can be charged as a felony if it is over $300. Felonies can also be charged if goods worth more than $100 are stolen from more than three different stores within a week.

Theft and larceny are serious crimes, whether at the felony or misdemeanor level. It is important that both you and your children know the policies and laws in Georgia for both kinds of theft.