In a theft case, you are acknowledging the fact that you took property from another party without permission. However, sometimes these incidents happen and are out of your control. In these cases, you may be able to use a defense. We will go over these defenses so you can see if they are viable in your California theft case.
Property Ownership: What if the property that you took was actually yours or you thought it was yours? You cannot be found guilty of this crime if you reasonably believed that you had a right to the property. However, it is not as easy as walking into the courtroom and stating, “I thought it was mine.” No, there must be good evidence regarding these claims.
Intoxication: If you were intoxicated at the time of the crime, you may have a defense – however, in many cases, these defenses are hard to prove and many prosecutors will not accept it. If you were using alcohol or drugs, it was nearly impossible for you to have intent. Perhaps you were too drunk to notice that you took something that wasn’t yours, which could make the defense viable.
Return of Property: Though returning the property to its owner may not always get you out of a charge, it could be useful to gain sympathy for a plea deal or penalty reduction. You may also be able to get out of a charge if you claim that you were “borrowing” the item and had proof of such.
Entrapment: Perhaps you were lured into committing the theft and you were made a target, which can serve as a viable defense.
What to do
Were you at a party and you became intoxicated and walked out with somebody else’s purse? Did you accidentally put a store item in your purse because you weren’t thinking about it? In these cases, you could easily be charged with theft. However, you may actually be innocent and wonder if you could use a defense in your case. Call us today to find out if your defense will hold and what to expect from your charges.