Imagine you were shopping at a department store on a Saturday afternoon in Cumming. As you went to leave the building, however, the security guard stopped you and accused you of shoplifting. Even though the guard was mistaken, you’re now facing theft charges in Georgia criminal court.
Theft allegations come with serious consequences for those convicted of the crime, so it’s important that you formulate your criminal defense carefully.
4 ways to defend against theft charges
Here are four ways that have worked for theft defendants in the past:
Right of ownership: Sometimes people are accused of stealing property that they already own. When a defendant can show evidence that supports the claim that he or she was the owner, this can serve as a powerful defense against the charges.
Intoxication: Another common defense involves being too drunk to know that a specific item wasn’t yours. Perhaps, you took someone’s cellphone from the bench of a bar because you mistook it for your own.
Return of property: In some theft defenses, defendants are able to show that they were merely borrowing the property. If they did, in fact, return the items, then this argument might hold more weight. Defendants might also be able to show that they merely forgot to return borrowed property.
Entrapment: Sometimes, police want to prosecute someone so badly that they actually induce him or her to commit a crime. This is referred to as “entrapment” and it’s unlawful. Defendants who are lured by police into committing a theft crime may not — in the end — be found guilty of the office.
Were you charged with a theft-related crime?
Whether you were charged with shoplifting or vehicle theft, a better understanding of Georgia criminal law, the facts of your case and the potential punishments you face could serve to help you defend against the allegations in court. An analysis of this information will help you gather insight about whether you should refute the charges by entering a plea of not guilty, or if you should seek a plea bargain agreement in the event that a conviction is likely.