There are a number of strategies a theft attorney in Fredericksburg may employ when handling theft cases based on the differing circumstances of each individual case. In order for a person to be convicted of a theft charge, the prosecutor is going to have to prove the person took or concealed property or money that belongs to someone else. They also must prove that the accused individual took it away with the intention of not returning it—that is, with the intention of permanently depriving the true owner of that property and of its value.
The first strategy of defense always is to determine whether the commonwealth and the prosecutor’s office have all of the evidence they need in order to prove the crime they have charged. This can be everything from witness testimony to statements made by the accused to video footage in some cases. It is not always true that by the time someone gets to court that the government has all of the proof that they need.
Another strategy that is employed is to determine if there are any violations of the person’s constitutional rights. This includes if there is an illegal seizure of the person, meaning an arrest without probable cause, or if there is a search of the person that is not supported by probable cause. In many cases, someone’s charges can be reduced or even dismissed if it is true that the police have behaved improperly.
Regardless, most attorneys will also frequently look to put on evidence of mitigation. This is going to be types of evidence that are going to help a prosecutor or even a judge to see this is an individual who may be deserving of not being treated harshly under the circumstances.
The first steps that experienced attorneys are going take in their defense strategy are to view any available police report, review any witnesses and witness statements, and get any video footage, particularly in the case of a shoplifting charge. Attorneys will want to know what evidence the government has, what they believe happened, and what evidence attorneys think prosecutors are going to present at trial. Once attorneys have this information, then they will begin to tailor an individual defense from there unique to each case.
There are a number of kinds of evidence that attorneys will want to obtain. They would want to find out first what witnesses there might be. This can be anyone from a loss prevention officer to a police officer. They are also going to want to find out what statements, if any, the accused has made, which will be important evidence in the case.
Attorneys are also going to have a look at what exactly the value of the items that were alleged to have been taken claim to be. In some cases, there can be a dispute as to the value. They want any video or audio evidence that records the alleged events, which will be something they will want to review and potentially utilize as well.
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