Theft charges can result in jail time, fines and other possible penalties and consequences. For that reason, individuals who have been accused of a theft crime should be familiar with their criminal defense options and how to go about them.
Defenses to theft charges
There are several possible defense to theft charges including:
- Innocence – the accused individual may defend themselves on the basis that they were innocent of the charges they are accused of.
- Belief of ownership – the accused individual may have a good faith belief of ownership of the item they are accused of stealing. The accused individual may defend themselves on the basis that they have a right of ownership to the item.
- Entrapment – the accused individual may assert that they were entrapped into committing a crime that they would not normally have committed had they not been induced to commit the crime.
- Consent – if the owner of the property consents to the accused individual taking the property, a component of a theft crime is missing and the accused individual may be able to defend themselves on that basis.
- Duress – if the accused individual commits the crime because of some form of duress, through threats of force or coercion, they may have a defense to the theft crime they are accused of.
When faced with any criminal charge, the accused individual may feel overwhelmed but it is important that they focus on developing a strong criminal defense strategy to respond to the charges they are facing. This is true if the individual has been accused of committing a theft crime or any other crime.