Just as with other offenses, there are multiple defenses available to those facing theft charges. Because of the nature of such an offense, some defenses are unique. Read on to learn about various defenses used by a theft defense attorney.
A common defense is that the defendant did not have the intent necessary for a crime to be committed. Theft is a crime of specific intent, which simply means that the offender must have a purpose when committing the act. Most thefts are done with the intent to permanently deprive the property’s owner. If one does not intend permanent deprivation, but they’re just borrowing the property, a theft conviction cannot occur.
Problems with the Intent Defense
There’s a drawback to this defense, like many others: for the intent defense to be successful, it must be believable. If one takes property without permission and keeps it for several weeks without returning it, it’s unlikely that a jury or a judge will believe that they were only borrowing it.
Other Theft Defenses
The specific intent defense applies to most types of theft, but there are specific variations. Below are several examples of theft.
* False pretenses: such an offense requires the suspect to tell a lie to get someone to transfer ownership of a piece of property. If no transfer takes place, false pretenses haven’t occurred.
* Trickery: unlike the above example, trickery only requires the transfer of possession. One who evades false pretenses may still use the intent defense.
* Possession of stolen property: if one is unaware that an item is stolen, they cannot be convicted of possession-related theft.
* Auto theft: one may claim that they are borrowing a car, but most jurisdictions have joyriding laws that make it illegal to borrow a car without permission.
Hiring a Lawyer After Theft Accusations
Anytime one is accused of an offense, they should call a lawyer right away. A criminal defense attorney can advise clients of their defenses and rights. Along with the above defenses, others may be used. A theft defense attorney from Addairthurston.com will also represent clients in court if required. You can also follow them on Twitter for more updates.
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