Allegations of theft can lead to serious criminal charges and significant punishments if convictions are achieved. If a Georgia resident finds themselves in the difficult situation of facing charges of theft, they should understand what repercussions may follow. Consultations with criminal defense attorneys can help individuals understand their legal rights and prepare strategic defense plans to combat the charges that have been lodged against them. This post will introduce some possible defense strategies to theft charges, but all readers are reminded that this post does not provide legal advice.
Rightful ownership as a defense
Some alleged thefts happened when individuals make mistakes about what is theirs and what is owned by others. It is not uncommon for an individual to honestly and firmly believe that an item they have taken is actually theirs. When a person facing theft charges must explain themselves and their actions, they may be able to demonstrate that they had an honest belief that the item they took was legitimately theirs. Rightful ownership or a belief in rightful ownership can serve as a defense to theft charges.
Returning the allegedly stolen property
As stated, accidents and mistakes often lead to wrongful theft allegations. When a person realizes that something they have taken is not theirs, they may choose to return it to the rightful owner. When a party takes this action, they may be able to mitigate or avoid theft charges under the law. There is no guarantee of this, however, and all cases will resolve based on their own facts and circumstances.
Other defense strategies
There is no single defense that will work in all claims of theft. For this reason, it is important that individuals understand the specific charges that have been made against them and seek legal counsel to help them understand what strategies may serve their interests to avoid penalties under the law. Defenses such as entrapment, intoxication, and others may be relevant to individual theft cases.