Stafford County Theft Defense Strategies
There are several different strategies of defenses which might be available to a person facing theft charges. Whether or not those are available to a defendant depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding their specific case. Defense strategies will focus on the intent of the defendant, the circumstances of the arrest, and witnesses and evidence presented.
The first step in building a defense for your theft charge is to provide facts of your case to your experienced Stafford County theft attorney from your perspective and also from the government’s perspective. Once there is a full layout of the facts of the case, your attorney can know whether or not there are any facts in dispute. In some cases, facts are disputed and in others, they are not. If the facts are in dispute, you and your attorney will need to build a defense to convince the court of your correct facts. If facts are not in dispute, then you and your attorney can work hard to find other available defense strategies.
A prosecutor needs to prove a few principal elements of a theft charge, such as that the person accused took an item of value, that such taking was not by consent of the original owner, and that the person intended to take the item in question.
Therefore, the evidence an attorney will be looking for in order to build their defense will depend upon the nature of the allegations against their client. In a shoplifting case, for example, they might determine whether or not there is a video that shows the crime allegedly being committed. Many stores do have surveillance video and many times a loss prevention officer will be monitoring that video and following the person around the store as they are in the process of committing that crime. Attorneys will want to know if that video exists. In other cases, they are going to need to acquire documents for evidence such as financial records, bank statements, cleared checks, which can help prove or disprove any defenses or allegations made by the government.
There are potential disputes to take into consideration as well that an attorney may need to uncover before collecting evidence. In a felony shoplifting case, for example, there may be a dispute as to whether the amount taken exceeds the monetary felony threshold. In other cases, there might be a defense of mistake or action, where a person did not intentionally take the item in question, but mistakenly walked out of the store with something that did not belong to them. An attorney can be able to strategize a defense by gathering evidence and determining disputes early on in a person’s case.
In cases which involve complex issues, there are often a lot of documents which need to be sorted through, which are primarily financial. In those cases, it may become necessary to employ an expert forensic accountant to go through the books to figure out what went on and if it is different than what the government is alleging. The help of a lawyer will be essential in hiring any sort of expert to testify in court as to what really occurred in order for your most accurate and helpful defense to be presented to the court.