Theft is simply taking another person’s property without permission. If you’re accused of this, there are a few things you can do to defend yourself. Fortunately, it’s easy to show why your situation has been misunderstood or taken out of context with the right defense.
For example, if you ask your friend to borrow his car on Thursday and he says yes, then you should be able to take it on Thursday without an issue. If you confuse the day and take it on Wednesday, he may call the police assuming it was stolen, leading to your arrest. This is just one possible situation. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself if you face this charge.
1. Explain a misunderstanding
To start with, you’ll want to be able to show that you did not take the property without permission or that you did take the property but because of an honest misunderstanding.
If it was a misunderstanding, like above, you may be able to work with the person who called in a police report to have the charges dropped. If they continue to pursue charges, you can show the courts recordings or emails that show you asked for permission to take the vehicle and then point out that you confused the day. Or, if you have someone who overheard that you were borrowing it, that person’s testimony may help you defend yourself.
2. Show why you didn’t steal an item
Imagine taking home your watch and having someone call the police to report the same item missing. The truth is that the item was never theirs at all but instead was yours. The police only know that you’re accused of theft, so they arrest you. How can you defend yourself? Keep receipts when you purchase expensive or unique items. If you have photos where you were wearing or using an item you’re accused of stealing, present them to the court as evidence that the item is yours.
No two situations are the same. Your attorney can help you develop a defense that works with yours.