If you've been charged with a serious theft crime, you'll have the opportunity to defend yourself against the charges in court. This means that the judge - and jury in some cases - will not see you as guilty until, and only if, the prosecution proves you to be so beyond a reasonable doubt.
The burden of proof is on the prosecution in your criminal case, and if there is any doubt as to whether you committed the crime, the judge or jury must find you not guilty. In many situations, proving guilt is a lot more difficult than it might readily appear.
Defense strategies you might employ against theft allegations
Your alleged theft might have just been a misunderstanding, you might have been forced to commit a crime under duress or your factual scenario might support another avenue of defense. Let's take a look at some common defense strategies against theft allegations:
- Claiming that you owned the property: You might be able to establish that you believed you already owned the property, and you were merely taking back that which was yours. This defense usually involves providing evidence showing why you thought the property belonged to you.
- Intoxication: If you were intoxicated by any kind of substance, including alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, the prosecution might not be able to prove that you intended to steal a specific item. For example, maybe you accidentally took someone's smartphone because you were too drunk to realize it wasn't yours. This defense will still require proof via evidence.
Were you charged with theft? A criminal defense attorney can help
Our criminal defense lawyers have defended countless clients against theft crimes with a wide range of factual circumstances. If you have been accused of such a crime, one of our criminal defense lawyers will review the facts surrounding your charges to determine the most appropriate defense strategies to employ on your behalf.