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Building a Prince William County Theft Defense

Being accused of a theft charge can be a frustrating experience. After receiving notice of charges, the next logical steps may be to begin building a Prince William County theft defense. Contact a skilled theft lawyer as soon as possible that could begin working on your case.

Useful Evidence for a Theft Case in Prince William County

Specific evidence a defense attorney may that could be helpful when building a Prince William County theft defense could include the version of events submitted by the plaintiff, which is usually spelled out in the initial complaint. The attorney may also want to obtain any direct evidence which could support or detract from the alleged events such as video footage and receipt records. If the defendant has a criminal history, the attorney may also want to obtain an official copy.

Use of Expert Witnesses

If the value of the property at question is hard to establish, an expert witness may be familiar with that type of property and could be beneficial for the defense to consult. If a fairly complex financial or electronic system is involved in the case, an expert witness could be helpful to favorably acquire or explain that evidence.

Common Defense Strategies

Theft cases may be easier to settle pre-trial than typical criminal charges since the plaintiff may be primarily concerned about their property being returned, or repayment value equal to that of what was allegedly taken. The law allows for personal agreements between theft defendants and plaintiffs This entails that the plaintiff could request the court to dismiss the case if the defendant has returned or repaid them adequately. If a pre-trial settlement is not reachable in this manner, a defense lawyer could begin to attack the evidence supporting the charge, such as a store video, receipt, or a witness’s recollection.

If even one element of the charge could not be proven by admissible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, such as the value of the property, then the defendant could avoid conviction. The defense lawyer may also seek to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor if it is a felony, or alternatively amend the charge to a less incriminating type of offense to have on a person’s criminal record, such as trespassing.

Proof Needed for a Theft Prosecution

The prosecution may prove theft beyond a reasonable doubt by showing the following:

  • Defendant took possession of some item or property that belonged to someone else;
  • Defendant intended to permanently separate the owner from that property at the time of taking possession;
  • The owner did not consent to the defendant taking of the property;
  • The value of the property at the time it was taken
  • The correct day, time, place and owner the property is alleged to have been taken from

Initial Steps to Take When Building a Defense for Prince William County

A theft attorney may begin building a Prince William County theft defense by acquiring all the evidence that exists in support of the charge from the plaintiff. If the evidence itself is inconclusive or subject to different interpretations of innocence, then the defense may be able to dispute that evidence accordingly.

If the evidence is decent or strong against the defendant, an attorney may attempt to find ways to exclude that evidence under technical court rules or could begin negotiations with the prosecution and the plaintiff. Contact an accomplished theft attorney as soon as possible so to begin building your case.

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