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What are some ways to defend against theft charges?

When someone has accused you of theft, there are numerous possible criminal defense strategies that exist. Exactly how your defense strategy is crafted depends on unique factors such as the evidence in the case, a history of criminal convictions on either your part or the accuser's part, and the history of the local court in dealing with such cases. Because you can't know all of these things yourself, working with a professional can help you craft a stronger defense.

One possible defense in theft cases is to show that the property actually belonged to you in the first place. If you own the property, then there is no crime in you taking it. This type of defense might be helpful in cases where someone has mistaken your property for one's own. This is probably one of the strongest defenses, because if you can prove that you owned the property in question, then you show that no crime actually occurred.

Other ways to defend against a theft allegation is to show that you were not present or available at the time the theft allegedly occurred. If you were out of town when the item was taken, for example, then it follows that you didn't commit the crime.

If you did commit the theft, then you are not without defense options. Sometimes defendants can see a reduction in charges if they show they were not in full capacity of themselves at the time of a theft. This is especially true if the defendant returned the stolen goods and showed remorse shortly after the crime; for example, if a theft was part of a drunken stunt and the accused later made reparations.

Every case is different, so it's important to consider details before deciding on a defense strategy. Many times, an attorney's advice is helpful in pointing toward the best possible strategy.

Source: FindLaw, "Theft Defenses," accessed Sep. 04, 2015

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