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How can I build a solid defense against theft charges?

It's important to understand up front that the best path to defend oneself against criminal charges like theft lies in the elements of each individual case. In other words, it's likely impossible to simply fabricate a defense with material not present in the facts of your case. Criminal defense attorneys know how to examine these facts as well as the police investigation and the arrest to determine the most appropriate way to proceed.

With that out of the way, it's time to talk about creating a theft defense based on your particular case. You and your attorney can choose from a number of options when building your defense in Wilson and other North Carolina cities. To get you pointed in the right direction, you might want to look at some of the defenses attorneys often use in theft cases to see if you might benefit from a similar defense.

-- Entrapment: This type of defense typically involves coercion and other forms of inducement to commit the crime. The end goal of this defense is to target the person who executed the entrapment or induced the defendant to steal.

-- Ownership or right to property: While a defendant cannot simply say, "It was mine, so I took it," this is often a strong defense if there is proof to back up the claim. The end goal of this defense is typically an outright dismissal.

-- Intoxication: This defense involves proving that the defendant was not capable of forming the intent to steal the property. For example, the defendant may have mistakenly taken the property while intoxicated. The end goal is usually dismissal.

-- Returning the property: Just about the only way this defense succeeds is by establishing the defendant had the intent to return the property. In other words, by establishing the defendant was only borrowing the property. The end goal is usually a reduction in charges or a plea deal.

As you can see, defending oneself against criminal theft charges takes a lot of thought, investigation and careful planning. Instead of tackling such an obstacle on your own, consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Theft Defenses" Oct. 28, 2014

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