2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 8 - Offenses Involving Theft
Article 1 - Theft
§ 16-8-5.2. Retail Property Fencing; Civil Forfeiture; Related Matters

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-8-5.2 (2020)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Retail property" means any new article, product, commodity, item, or component intended to be sold in retail commerce.
    2. "Retail property fence" means a person or entity that buys, sells, transfers, or possesses with the intent to sell or transfer retail property that such person knows or should have known was stolen.
    3. "Value" means the retail value of the item as stated or advertised by the affected retail establishment, to include applicable taxes.
  2. A person commits the offense of retail property fencing when such persons receives, disposes of, or retains retail property which was unlawfully taken or shoplifted over a period not to exceed 180 days with the intent to:
    1. Transfer, sell, or distribute such retail property to a retail property fence; or
    2. Attempt or cause such retail property to be offered for sale, transfer, or distribution for money or other things of value.
  3. Whoever knowingly receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of retail property with the intent to distribute any retail property which is known or should be known to have been taken or stolen in violation of this subsection with the intent to distribute the proceeds, or to otherwise promote, manage, carry on, or facilitate an offense described in this subsection, shall have committed the offense of retail property fencing.
    1. It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this Code section for the state to prove that any intended profit was actually realized. The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attending circumstances.
    2. It shall not be a defense to violating this Code section that the property was obtained by means other than through the commission of a theft offense if the property was explicitly represented to the accused as being obtained through the commission of a theft.
    1. As used in this subsection, the terms "proceeds" and "property" shall have the same meanings as set forth in Code Section 9-16-2.
    2. Any property which is, directly or indirectly, used or intended for use in any manner to facilitate a violation of this Code section and any proceeds are declared to be contraband and no person shall have a property right in them; provided, however, that notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 9-16-17, no property of any owner shall be forfeited under this subsection, to the extent of the interest of such owner, by reason of an act or omission established by such owner to have been committed or omitted without knowledge or consent of such owner.
    3. Any property subject to forfeiture pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9.
  4. Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense.

(Code 1981, §16-8-5.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 679, § 1/HB 1346; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 2-6/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).


Fingerprinting required for violators.

- Offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16-8-5.2 are designated as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. 2009 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2009-1.

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