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Building a Defense in Vienna Theft Cases

Defense strategies that lawyers use when handling theft cases in Vienna will vary depending on the facts of the case. There are cases where the value of the item is the most important factor and in those cases, there could be experts and multiple witness testimony as to the value of the item.

In other cases, a Vienna theft lawyer may focus on the fact that the person was not actually carrying an item that was alleged to be stolen or they did not have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the item. In that case, the focus could be that they did not leave the building, they did not conceal the item, or they did not act in a way that would indicate that they had a necessary element to prove theft. A prosecutor must prove every element for each individual charge. Focusing on the elements and attacking them individually how lawyers attack a theft case in Virginia.

Initial Steps

The first step that a theft attorney will usually take when building a defense in a theft case is to get the defendant’s side of the story and general information from them. The attorney may ask a person what they think they are charged with and why they think they are charged with that offense. The lawyer will then typically review the documents that the defendant provided, any statements that were made to them about the case, and anything else that they remember from the day of the incident.

Following an interview with an individual, the attorney can look at information from secondary sources. Secondary sources include any witnesses that were involved, law enforcement officers, and loss prevention officers, if applicable. Information that may have been provided by secondary sources include statements that they made, police reports, and/or video/audio surveillance that they will share at that point in the process. All of the information that is provided and reviewed will assist the attorney to understand the bigger picture of the crime that someone is alleged to have committed.

Expert Witnesses

An expert witness that may be necessary to prepare a strong defense in a theft case in Vienna depends on the specific facts of the case and the appropriate defense. For example, if art is taken and its value is at issue, an art buyer may be a relevant expert for the purpose of estimating the value of the art taken or its worth if it was sold. Another kind of expert may be necessary to establish that a person with a mental illness did not have intent to permanently remove something from the owner.

Reduced Sentencing Options

In Vienna, reduction in sentencing or probation in lieu of incarceration when facing theft charges depends on the facts of the case and a person’s criminal record. Someone that is charged with a relatively minor first theft offense might be eligible for probation, a program, or some type of community service to have the charge ultimately reduced or dismissed. If a person’s criminal record is extensive, the facts of their case are severe, or there was injury or threat to a person during the alleged theft, those options are not likely available to them.

The Role of a Lawyer

When working with a client charged with theft, a criminal lawyer will find out the evidence against their client as well as attack that evidence and push the prosecutor on the issues of the case. An attorney is an advocate for the defendant and it is the attorney’s job to get the best possible outcome for the client.

In order to get the best possible outcome for someone, an attorney may work in a way that is out of the ordinary, such as offering alternative programs, community service, or other types of diversionary options that would ultimately remove a conviction from a person’s record. What is best for a person is determined on a case-by-case basis.

A person that is charged with theft should contact a lawyer immediately. The sooner the contact occurs is better in a theft case, especially when someone is being investigated, but has not yet met with police officers. A defense attorney will tell the person what they could be charged with and the penalties associates with those charges. An attorney can also help protect them from the charges because an attorney will guide them during the interview with police to ensure that their rights are protected, and that they do not say anything that could potentially incriminate them.