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What are the ways to defend myself against a theft charge?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Theft Crimes

Defending against theft charges in California can be complex and overwhelming. The state has stringent laws, and the penalties for theft can impact one’s personal and professional life. If you are facing a theft charge, what options are available that can help mount your defense?

Common defense strategies

The outcome of your theft case may be influenced by how robust your defense is. Below are some common strategies that might boost your defense:

  • Lack of intent: The prosecution should prove that you intended to steal. If you had a legitimate reason to believe you had a right to the property, this could be a valid defense.
  • Mistake of fact: If you took the property by mistake, believing it was yours, then you might not be guilty of theft.
  • Consent: If the owner of the property gave you their consent to take it, then there is no theft.

Another defense strategy is entrapment. If law enforcement officers coerced or induced you to commit the theft, then you might have an entrapment defense.

Understanding the burden of proof

The prosecution has the burden of proof in a theft case, which means they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed such a crime. This includes proving that you took property that did not belong to you and without the owner’s consent. In addition, they can seek to show your intent to deprive the owner of their supposed property permanently or for an extended period.

Protecting your rights, reputation and future

The possible consequences of a theft conviction can be severe, affecting not just your freedom but also your future opportunities. Therefore, seeking legal representation can be crucial in helping you navigate the process. You may study your options and understand legal intricacies as you aim to protect your rights, reputation and future.