Building a Columbia Theft Defense

When a person is charged with a theft violation, they need to immediately begin developing a defense strategy. Legal penalties for a theft conviction are severe and could significantly harm a person’s freedom and ability to find future employment opportunities. Building a Columbia theft defense can be difficult without proper legal representation. It is highly recommended that a person who is charged with any type of theft offense contact an experienced theft attorney.

Preparing a Substantial Defense

An attorney seeking to defend someone from a theft charge could examine the factors surrounding the alleged incident and research different legal strategies that may be applicable. More specifically, a lawyer could launch an independent investigation, obtain copies of evidence found by the prosecution, and search for constitutional issues.

Furthermore, an attorney typically should work to identify the strengths of the state’s case and prepare to combat them. Contrastingly, if the state’s case contains any weaknesses, the defendant’s arguments refuting the charge generally should address them.

Identifying Potential Types of Evidence

Following an alleged theft offense, the prosecution may attempt to obtain as much evidence demonstrating a person’s role in an incident as possible. In many cases, they may work to collect:

  • Video surveillance
  • Weapons allegedly used
  • Photographs
  • Police body cam videos
  • Reports from law enforcement
  • Witness statements

When building a defense for theft in Columbia, an accused person and their attorney may also benefit from seeking out such evidence independent of the prosecution. Law enforcement does not always accurately obtain evidence or in some rare cases attempt to conceal evidence that might be advantageous for a defendant.

Examining the Property Value of the Alleged Theft

Checking the accuracy and quality of the prosecution’s property value estimation is extremely important. It could be the difference between whether a person is charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Theft, where the property value is over $10,000, may be charged as a felony and carries a stiff penalty of up to 10 years in prison. If the prosecution failed to accurately attribute value to the property, a person accused of theft could risk facing significantly more severe legal consequences than in a misdemeanor charge. When building a Columbia theft defense, a proactive criminal defense attorney could work to demonstrate the potential inaccuracy of the prosecution’s estimated property value.

Contacting an Attorney to Build a Theft Defense in Columbia

If you were accused of a theft offense, it is highly encouraged to refrain from speaking with law enforcement until legal counsel has been retained. Any statements made to law enforcement or the prosecution could be used against them in the future and taken out of context. Additionally, it could negatively impact a person’s ability to start building a Columbia theft defense that is both legally valid and robust. Secure a dedicated legal representative as soon as possible. An attorney could review the circumstances of the arrest, alleged offense, and work to discredit the prosecution’s claims. Call and schedule an appointment.