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O.C.G.A. § 16-8-4 - Theft by conversion in Georgia

Theft by conversion is another statute that seems to go hand-in-hand with a breach of contract. A person can be charged, under this statute, for failing to relinquish a leased vehicle at the expiration of the lease or following lengthy non-payment on the lease. Other examples would include failure to relinquish rented automobile, a U-haul, a jet-ski on Lake Lanier etc etc.

Essentially, theft by conversion occurs when you have lawfully obtained personal property, either rented or leased, under an agreement or other known legal obligation to make a specified disposition of such property. Rather than comply with that contractual disposition, you knowingly convert the property to your own use in violation of the agreement or legal obligation.

This personal property need only cost more than $100 to be actionable.

In addition to being charged with the crime, the Court and order the accused to pay replacement cost. Those costs shall include but not be limited to:

(A) The market value of the personal property. 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; and

(C) Interest on the unpaid balance

 If you've been charged with this offense, or know someone who has, please visit my website at Email me at [email protected] or call me at 770-729-4809.

-        Jason Carnell

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