A criminal charge of any type can be a serious and life-altering matter. San Antonio residents who find themselves facing allegations of criminal conduct can seek legal support from knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys. It is important that they secure guidance from legal professionals who are familiar with their cases; this informational post should not be read as legal advice.
Allegations of theft and crimes related to them have previously been discussed on this blog. As the charges and penalties associated with them can vary based on the facts of the cases, readers should understand the defenses discussed herein may or may not apply to their specific cases.
Theft defenses based on mistakes
Many alleged thefts do not meet the legal definitions of theft when the facts of the cases are fully revealed. Often, a suspected theft is found to have been a mistake or a misunderstanding. For example, a person may honestly believe that an allegedly stolen item of property is theirs. If they lack the intent to deprive another person of their property through the act of taking it, their mistake should not constitute a crime. Other mistake-based defenses to theft can include:
- Belief in ownership of stolen property;
- Intoxication at the time of alleged theft; and
- Return of stolen property as a mitigation strategy.
Theft defenses based on other grounds
In some circumstances, allegations of theft arise from potentially wrongful conduct. Entrapment is a criminal defense that applies when a person is enticed to steal something so that they can later be arrested and charged for their conduct. Situations in which law enforcement officers set individuals up to steal items may successfully utilize entrapment defenses.
There is no one defense that works for all theft charges. Consultation with Texas-based criminal defense lawyers can benefit men and women who are worried about what their charges may do to their rights and futures.