Zeribe Law Offices

Zeribe Law Offices


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Different Types of Theft Crimes

There are different types of theft crimes. Theft is generally the stealing of anything of value. Larceny is the taking possession of the personal property of another person through trespass. To be charged with larceny, the person charged must have an intention to steal the property and must carry the property away. Robbery refers to the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of another person or group of persons by the use of force or threat of force or violence and/or by place that person or group of person in fear. The theft of goods from a retail establishment either by sneaking it out of the store or by altering or switching the tags on an item in order to pay less is shoplifting. Shoplifting goods less than $300 in value is a misdemeanor. If the total value exceeds $300, the shoplifting will be considered a felony.

Theft crimes are serious charges. Never take the charge of a theft crime lightly. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight the charges against you will ensure that you are given an opportunity to exercise constitutional rights.  Defendants have a constitutional right to present evidence that might create a reasonable doubt about their guilt.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows that judges do not have to admit any evidence the prosecution might want to offer. Judges can exclude prosecution evidence because it constitutes inadmissible hearsay, because it is speculative, because it is unduly misleading, or because it violates rules of evidence. A state cannot arbitrarily take away a defendant’s right to present a defense in a theft crime.

Undoubtedly, the most common defense argument is that the prosecution has failed to prove the defendant guilty. Because of the constitutional principles that a defendant is presumed innocent and that the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, this is often the strongest argument the defendant can make. The criminal defense attorney will review your case to determine if this defense can be applied in your case.

The defendant can sit silently through the entire trial for a theft crime and present no witnesses, but still argue that the prosecution case is simply too weak to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—even assuming everything the prosecution witnesses said was accurate. More likely, even if the defense presents no case of its own, it will try to strengthen the not guilty argument by cross-examining prosecution witnesses and poking as many holes in their stories as possible. Taken together the holes create a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt. At the same time, the absence of a defense case denies the prosecution a target to poke holes at in return, as the prosecution generally is not permitted to comment on the fact that defendant chose to not testify, or failed to put on an affirmative case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work with you to develop a successful defense strategy against the charges of a theft crime.