While many criminal defense cases may be straightforward, instances of theft can be more complex. Just because a person was arrested and accused of theft, does not mean they are convicted. The accused must be proven guilty in court through evidence. Those who were arrested for theft, may have in fact done the crime. However, it is the job of the criminal defense lawyer to identify defects in the prosecutors case in hopes of at least decreasing the charges.
Q: Isn’t proof easy to gather for a theft arrest?
A: While it may seem easy enough to say that a certain person stole an item which belongs to another, it can actually be difficult for the prosecutors to bring forward enough proof to declare that person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes, witnesses who saw the crime occur are not willing to submit an official statement, or other evidence against the accused gets lost in the shuffle.
Q: What if I didn’t mean to take an item?
A: One type of defense that can be used in a theft charge, is that the person did not intend to steal the item. This can be helpful in cases where a person walked out of a retail store with a product on the very bottom of the cart. Since there was no intent to delude, that person doesn’t deserve the reprimands associated with a theft conviction.
Q: The item taken was of very low value, does that matter?
A: The prosecution may claim the value of the item stolen is much more than it really is, so it is important that a lawyer looks up how much the object is truly worth and brings that information to the courtroom. The accused may be facing a felony theft charge because of the alleged worth of the item, but it can turn out to not be the correct value at all.
Q: If I am convicted, how may this charge impact me?
A: People who never intended to be productive members of society, may have a lengthy list of criminal activity on his or her record. Since this person does not want to live a life based on integrity, having this record may not be bothersome or a hindrance. But for those who made one mistake, this single mark can make it quite challenging to advance yourself among the community. It can be harder to obtain employment, be accepted into college, and reach other personal milestones.
Q: If I did the crime, should I just plead guilty?
A: There are many stigmas that come along with certain crimes, and theft is one of them. People may immediately view someone with a theft conviction on their record as being dishonest, manipulative, and sneaky. Before pleading guilty, it may be best to consult with a robbery lawyer San Francisco, CA trusts about the potential repercussions. Pleading guilty without fighting with a defense strategy, is not likely to result in the most favorable of outcomes.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense cases and what you need to know about a theft charge.