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What defenses are available to allegations of theft?

A charge of theft is often based upon an accusation that an individual knowingly took the property of another person. New City residents can face theft charges that arise from a number of different factual scenarios, and as such, it is important that they remember that all criminal cases are different. Criminal defense attorneys can be useful resources for those individuals who wish to learn more about the particulars of their personal theft charges, as this blog provides only general information about criminal law topics.

Depending upon the facts of his case, a person facing theft charges may be able to use one of several defenses. The most straightforward defense to a theft charge is innocence; if a person did not take the alleged victim's property then he could not have committed theft.

If, however, a person did take someone else's property, then his defense options may be more limited. The accused may claim that although he did take property, that the property in question was actually his. A person cannot steal his own possessions, and to this end, ownership of an alleged stolen item is a defense to a charge of theft.

Additionally, a person may be able to mitigate criminal charges of theft if he returned the alleged victim's property to him. In some situations, the alleged perpetrator of a theft may take someone else's property with the intent of only borrowing the taken item. Returning another person's property is not a complete defense to theft, but it may support an individual's claims that he made a good faith effort to right any wrongs he may have committed.

Theft charges carry with them a variety of punishments, ranging from fines to periods of incarceration. While there is no guarantee that a defense will yield a positive outcome for a person facing theft charges, the utilization of legal defenses during a person's theft trial may provide him with the arguments he needs to avoid conviction and get back to his life.

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