We’ve been talking over the last few weeks here on our Morristown criminal defense law blog about property crimes. Just last week we explained the importance of fighting back in court with the help of a legal professional. But what, our readers may be wondering, are the options as you proceed with your defense? What can one say on one’s own behalf when trying to stand up to allegations of theft?
One point you can try to make is that the property in question was actually yours or you had good reason to believe that it was. You’ll need to provide some kind of evidence to substantiate a defense like this, however. Such evidence could take the form of a witness’ testimony, for example from someone who knew the item belonged to you or who could back up your claim that you believed it did.
Assuming you actually do have the property you’re accused of stealing, giving it back can also help your case. You could argue that you just borrowed it with the intent to return it. The probability of success here will depend greatly on the type of property and the circumstances.
If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged theft, that also can be a possible line of defense. Theft requires the intent to take something that is not yours. So if, in an intoxicated state, you did not realize you were stealing, the prosecution may not be able to prove the intent necessary for a theft conviction.
These are only a few common theft defenses which criminal defense professionals may recommend, and they are only intended as general information — not specific legal advice. Attorneys familiar with these defenses can tailor them to your situation and help make sure your side of the story is told as effectively as possible in court.