Chapin Theft Lawyer

Theft is an umbrella term for several different types of criminal offenses in Chapin. In some instances, theft offenses involve inexpensive merchandise where no amount of force is involved (i.e. “petit thefts”). However, at other times, the stolen merchandise could be stolen goods valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The charge classification and potential penalties in theft cases typically depend upon the amount and type of property which the accused allegedly steals or misappropriates and/or whether threat or forced is used in taking the property. The penalties upon conviction could include fines, jail time, and probation.

If you are dealing with a criminal theft charge, you should contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A Chapin theft lawyer could review the circumstances of your theft charge, discuss your version of what occurred, and set to work defending your criminal matter.

The Burden of Proof in a Theft Case

In criminal cases where the main charge is theft, the State always has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused maintained a specific intent to commit the theft crime.

The accused commits a theft crime when they remove an item from a store shelf and conceal it. In other words, the accused need not physically remove the item from the store in order for the theft offense to be complete – and to sustain a conviction for shoplifting.

Common Defenses Against Theft Charges

Individuals facing a theft charge in Chapin could assert one or more defenses at their criminal trial. A legal defense acts to “poke a hole” in the prosecution’s case and could lead to a complete dismissal or reduction of the theft charge.

In some instances, the accused could assert that they lacked the necessary specific intent to commit the offense or that the arresting police officer mistook their identity at the time of the arrest.

The accused might also allege that they were somewhere else during the time when the theft allegedly occurred (i.e. an alibi defense). Finally, the accused could argue that they actually owned the merchandise in question – or that someone else threatened them with death or extreme bodily harm if they did not commit the theft (i.e. duress).

A skilled theft lawyer in Chapin could assist with asserting a legal defense during a criminal jury trial.

Potential Penalties after Sustaining a Conviction

Theft convictions – even so-called “minor” ones – could still result in a sentencing judge imposing a tough penalty against the accused. Potential penalties that could result from a theft conviction include:

  • Prison sentence
  • Court costs and fines
  • Probation
  • Court-ordered community service
  • Job loss
  • Loss of professional license
  • Driver’s license suspension

A Chapin theft attorney could appear at a sentencing hearing and attempt to convince the judge to lower the sentence which the prosecutor is requesting.

Call a Chapin Theft Attorney Today

Regardless of the value of the merchandise in question, you should not take any theft charge lightly. In addition to the potential legal penalties incurred upon conviction, a theft charge could also have a serious impact on your professional and personal relationships. Consequently, you need an attorney who will work hard to defend you and minimize the consequences of any conviction.

A Chapin theft lawyer can represent you during every stage of your criminal case, with the end goal of achieving the best possible outcome for you.