Theft crimes can range from shoplifting to grand theft auto. No matter the severity, being charged with a theft crime can have serious consequences. This is why it's crucial to understand your rights and the common defenses to theft crimes. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common defenses to theft crimes in Ohio.
1. Lack of Intent
One of the most common defenses to theft crimes is lack of intent. This means that you did not intend to steal the item in question. For example, if you accidentally walked out of a store with an item in your hand without paying for it because you were distracted, you did not intend to steal.
Another defense is consent. If the owner of the property gave you permission to take the item, then it's not theft. For example, if your neighbor gives you permission to borrow their lawn mower and you do so, it's not theft.
3. Mistake of Fact
Sometimes, people make honest mistakes. If you took an item that you believed to be yours, but it wasn't, it's a mistake of fact. In this case, you didn't intend to steal the item because you believed it was yours.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers persuade someone to commit a crime they wouldn't have committed otherwise. If you were coerced into stealing something by a law enforcement officer, it could be considered entrapment.
Finally, duress is a defense in which someone is forced to commit a crime under the threat of harm. If someone threatened you with harm if you didn't steal something, it could be considered duress.
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It's important to note that these defenses may not work in every case. It's best to consult with a criminal defense lawyer who can evaluate your specific situation and determine the best defense strategy.
At The Meranda Law Firm LTD, we have helped many clients navigate the complex legal system and defend against theft crime charges. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your rights and build a strong defense, or work to get your unfair conviction expunged.