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What are possible defenses to theft?

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.

Defense strategy

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.