What Are The Defense Strategies Utilized In Theft Cases?
In defending theft cases, they are usually straightforward. Most people, who are charged with theft, did commit the crime. But, that does not mean that the person is going to be convicted of the crime. The defense lawyer’s obligation is to hold the prosecutor to their burden of proof. There may be defects in the prosecutor’s case that the person charged did not know about. For example, someone has to come in and say that a person committed a theft. They need to come in and say “I am the owner of that object. That person did not have the authority or permission to take that object.”
It can be difficult for the prosecutors to prove their burden of proof. Either a witness is not willing to come in, or there may not be a witness to say that it was their item. Other than making the prosecutors meet their burden of proof, you have to show that the person knowingly possessed the item. In other words, you cannot accidentally steal something.
They must show that the defendant had the intent to steal. For example, if a person just simply forgets to pay for an item or simply walks out of the store and does not realize that there was something at the bottom of their cart those people did not have the intent to steal and should not be convicted of a crime. However, there is nothing to stop them from being charged with a theft. You should never be convicted of theft, unless they can show that you intended to permanently deprive the owner of the item.
Other defenses to the theft charge is the value of the item. Someone may have committed a theft, but the value of the item is not what the prosecutors are saying it is. There are instances when an individual is charged with a felony theft because of the alleged value of the item, and it turns out that is not the correct value. There are a lot of different things you can do with theft. Each case is very fact-specific. You have to determine a lot of extraneous factors to help get the best resolution for a client.
What Do You Advise People That Want To Plead Guilty To A Theft Charge?
No one regrets hiring an attorney for advice but many regret not hiring an attorney. When someone has a lengthy criminal history and does not intend to be a productive member of our society, having a criminal record might not hurt that individual. For the other ninety-eight percent of the population, having a criminal record is a major detriment to advancing yourself within society.
Theft is a crime in which it reflects negatively on your character. There is a higher stigma associated with theft charges than that of a marijuana possession charge, a DUI charge, or things of that nature. The average person holds theft as a far more serious crime than most other crimes that are on the same level.
The crimes that have the higher stigmas attached to them are going to be the ones that impede your ability to be who you want to be. When people walk in and say “I’m just going to go plead guilty to this,” I tell them to really think about that, because now they may not be motivated to do something or may not care about having a criminal record but years from now, whenever they have changed their mindset, they are really going to wish that they would have done something different than have a theft conviction on their record.
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