An Attorney’s Tips to Fight Against a Theft Case

An Attorney's Tips to Fight Against a Theft Case

Theft crimes are a common offense in America. According to a 2022 publication by Statista, property theft alone accounted for about 4.7 million cases. Consequently, these crimes are associated with serious penalties.

The severity of theft crimes usually depends on several factors that come into play. It has the potential to create a lasting negative impact on one’s life and profession.

Therefore, it is essential to consult competent theft defense attorneys if you find yourself in such a situation. These legal professionals will review your case and set up a befitting defense strategy to help improve the outcome of your case.

How to Fight Against a Theft Case

Understand the Theft Charge

The first step towards fighting against any theft case is to understand the charge filed against you and the evidence presented. This will help you successfully navigate the legal system and protect your rights. There are various types of theft offenses, like:

  • Shoplifting
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Robbery

Different theft crimes come with different elements and penalties. It is important to clarify the specific allegations and their implications for your case.

Examine and Challenge the Prosecution’s Evidence

A strong defense strategy requires a thorough examination of the evidence presented by the prosecution. This evidence is usually not infallible and, as such, can be contested.

You should begin by examining the source of the evidence, whether it is admissible in court or was obtained illegally and in violation of your rights. If so, scrutinize every piece to identify any form of inconsistency or weakness. Depending on your discovery at this stage, your charges can be reduced/minimized, or completely dropped.

Identify and Explore Possible Defenses

Depending on the specific circumstances that surround your case, different defense tactics can be applicable. These defenses can go a long way toward improving the outcome of your case. The primary defenses against theft cases are:

  • Lack of intent – This is used by the defendant to claim that they were not aware of breaking the law or that they were intoxicated at the time of the incident
  • Duress – This is used by defendants who have been coerced or threatened to engage in misconduct
  • Mistaken identity – This is used in a case of insufficient witness identification. This means that the defendant believes there is no clear revelation of the identity
  • Claim of right – Similar to lack of intent, this argument hinges on the fact that the defendant genuinely believed they owned the property
  • Consent – This is used when the defendant can prove that the owner gave a measure of consent to the act

Negotiate with Prosecution

There are times when this might be a reasonable move to make and, as such, avoid trial altogether. Sometimes, the defendant can secure a reduced penalty or sentence by simply admitting to the charge. This usually depends on the strength of the prosecution’s case.

Appeal the decision

In a situation where the verdict was in favor of the prosecution, you still have the option of filing an appeal to a higher court. You can employ the services of an attorney to explore appeal options. Your attorney will examine the decision for possible errors of law that may have affected the trial outcome.

Seek Legal Help

When you get charged with a theft case, it is usually not the end of the world. There are a series of specific actions one can take to fight against the charge before the court makes the final decision. Your level of success in this fight will depend on how strategic and proactive your approach is. This requires the expertise of experienced attorneys. You must seek the immediate help of an experienced defense lawyer who will mount a strong legal defense to protect your rights.

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