If you are charged with any form of theft, regardless of the severity of the crime, you need to do a few things to protect your legal rights. To start, learn more about the charges and why you're in your current position.
Once you have a clear idea of what went wrong, you can turn your attention to the future. This means several things, including a focus on the theft defense strategy that gives you the best opportunity to avoid a conviction.
Here are several defense strategies that have worked effectively for people in the past:
- Ownership of property: This comes into play if you can prove that you had reason to believe that the property was yours. While it's easy enough to say that you thought the property was yours, this defense strategy calls for more detail. You should have evidence to back up why you believe this, such as a receipt of purchase.
- Intoxication: As embarrassing as it may be, it's possible to use intoxication as a theft defense strategy. This is when you claim you were intoxicated at the time of the theft, which led you to make a mistake. For example, if you were drunk, you may pick up something you thought was yours, when in actuality it belonged to another person.
- Return of property: Many people assume that returning stolen property is good enough to avoid criminal charges. While this isn't typically the case, it goes a long way in showing that you understand you were in the wrong. This can lead to a lesser penalty and a possible plea deal. However, if you can establish that you had intent to return the property at the time you took it, you can use this as a defense strategy.
You'll never know which theft defense strategy is best until you compare each one as it relates to your case. Once you do this, you can decide how to best move forward with the idea of avoiding a conviction and the punishment that goes along with it.
Any type of theft charge is a big deal, so don't delay in learning more about your case, potential defense strategies and the best way to protect your legal rights.