Common Defenses to Theft Crimes

warning sign for shoplifters

Being charged with a theft crime can be a daunting and stressful experience. A single charge, if not handled properly, can significantly impact your life and future prospects. It is, therefore, essential to understand the common defenses that lawyers use to challenge theft charges to protect your rights. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most commonly used defenses against theft. We hope that this information will help you understand how you can protect yourself if faced with a theft charge.

Common Defenses When Facing a Theft Charge

Intent Element

One of the most common defenses against theft is challenging the intent element, which is an essential element of the crime. For an act to be considered theft, there must be an intent to deprive the property owner. If a defendant did not have the required intent, they cannot be convicted of the crime. A skilled attorney can help you challenge the prosecutor's evidence to show that you lacked the intent to steal. They can use your actions and statements leading up to the alleged theft to show that you didn't have the requisite intent.


Another common defense that criminal defense attorneys use in theft cases is establishing lack of ownership. If you took property that you believed was yours, you cannot be convicted of theft. For example, if you took your roommate's pen, genuinely believing it was yours, you had no intent to steal. A good lawyer will gather evidence to prove you believed the item was yours.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement officers obtained evidence illegally, it cannot be presented in court. A good lawyer can argue that the police officers violated your Fourth Amendment rights and suppressed evidence.

Lack of Evidence

Lastly, lack of evidence is an excellent defense against theft charges. The prosecution cannot convict you without evidence proving that you committed the crime. A good attorney can work to uncover weaknesses in the state's case when presented with weak evidence and cannot establish the requisite intent. Your attorney may challenge the reliability of the evidence and put forth alternative scenarios that could explain the presence of the evidence, among other things.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C.

Facing theft crime charges can be overwhelming, but understanding common defenses can give you the knowledge and confidence to protect your rights. It is crucial to seek legal representation from experienced attorneys specializing in theft crimes, such as Weintraub & Alper Legal. Our team of skilled professionals will work diligently to analyze your case, develop a robust defense strategy, and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

Remember, every case is unique, and seeking personalized legal advice is essential. Contact The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. today to schedule a consultation and explore the best defense strategies tailored to your specific circumstances. (404) 907-1536

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