When You Might Want a Theft Defense Lawyer
A theft defense lawyer is one of the less common defense attorneys. But an arrest or indictment for a theft or larceny crime is devastating to your career and livelihood as it is to your freedom and future. They are also more complex charges than you might think, requiring the prosecution to prove various elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Theft and burglary are serious charges that require skilled legal advice from an experienced defense lawyer. Continue reading to learn when you would want to hire a theft defense lawyer.
How Is Theft Defined
Theft, or larceny, occurs when a person “with intent to deprive another of property …wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds property from an owner.” This includes shoplifting, extortion, embezzlement, robbery, fraud, acquiring lost property, passing a bad check, and false promises.
Theft can have multiple consequences, which means a crime can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Whether a crime is considered felony theft may depend on the value of the stolen property and the severity of the theft when other factors are considered.
How to Prove Theft
To prove theft the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally took another person’s property, that property belonged to someone else and was not the property of the accused, that the defendant had the specific intent to permanently deprive that person of their property, and that the defendant did not have authorized consent or permission of the owner. So what are the possible penalties? Depending on the jurisdiction, you will most likely face jail time. This time can range anywhere from 1 year to 20 years in state or federal prison. Additionally, you may face steep fines and be ordered to pay restitution to the victim if the stolen property is not recovered.
How Does a Theft Defense Lawyer Help
As with any crime, some defenses are available. While it is possible to represent yourself, the majority of people use the assistance of an attorney for theft. Your lawyer will help you identify whether any defenses will apply to your situation and answer any of your questions. They will represent you and provide a defense to help break any charges being held against you to give you the best possible outcome.
Given the complexity of a burglary charge and the serious consequences of a conviction, you should only trust your defense to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is determined to protect your rights. Contact us today for guidance for your theft charge.