Theft means intentionally taking or gaining control of another person’s property without his/her permission. Common examples of theft crimes in Florida include shoplifting, auto theft, burglary, and robbery.
If you have been accused of a theft crime in Broward County, you need to understand that a conviction can lead to imprisonment, fines, a criminal record, and even a civil lawsuit against you. That is why you must hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and freedom. Your lawyer will review your case and determine if there are any defenses available to help you avoid conviction.
The following are the five common defenses to theft crimes:
- You didn’t mean to steal – Theft is a specific-intent offense, which means you must intentionally or knowingly take another person’s property to be convicted. If the prosecution cannot prove specific intent, then your attorney may successfully argue that you didn’t mean to deprive someone else of their property.
- You were intoxicated – In relation to the legal defense above, if you mistakenly take another person’s property – believing it was yours – because you were too drunk to notice and able to show proof, you cannot be convicted of theft.
- You were borrowing the property – Theft occurs when a person permanently deprives another individual of his/her property. However, if you were simply borrowing the property – with every intention to return it to its owner – you may avoid conviction.
- You are the owner of the property – When two or more parties purchase an item, it is not uncommon for two people to dispute ownership. If you had good faith to believe that the alleged stolen property belonged to you and could provide evidence supporting your claim, you could use this defense to avoid conviction.
- Entrapment – If you were induced to commit a theft crime by another person with the intent to prosecute you of the crime is considered entrapment. The intent to steal must come from the entrapping individual.
Whether you have been accused of shoplifting or auto theft in Broward County, The Hoffman Firm is dedicated to helping you obtain the most favorable outcome possible in your case. As a former prosecutor with more than two decades of experience fighting for the accused, Attorney Evan Hoffman understands what it takes to ensure you avoid serious criminal penalties.
Contact us today at (954) 737-3004 to schedule a free consultation. Se Habal Español!