Building a Defense For Theft Charges in Hanover

The defense strategy that a Hanover theft lawyer uses for a theft offense is going to be based on what was taken, whether the item was recovered from the individual, and the value of the item. For example, if the value is less than $500, then the individual is looking at a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony.

Another element a lawyer can attack is the intent to permanently deprive. In Hanover, the Commonwealth must prove that when the item or items were seized by the individual, the individual possessed the intent to permanently deprive the store or owner of that item, but without that intent to permanently deprive, there is no theft.

Steps to Preparing a Defense

The first step in preparing a defense is to find out who the alleged victim is and whether it is a store or whether it is a person who can be contacted. Once it is known who the victim is, then the lawyer will want to know what is alleged to have been taken. These are the two biggest elements of any theft case. With this information, the lawyer can determine if this charge is going to be a felony or misdemeanor and therefore what types of penalties the accused may be facing.

After those initial steps, the lawyer will want to follow up with the individual to get as much information as they can to build a proper defense.

Obtaining Evidence

Some important evidence in theft cases includes videos because they can show what was going on at the time of the alleged crime, and statements from any witnesses. In addition, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accusation, experts may be necessary, especially when fingerprints or facial recognition are involved.

If it is a fraud case, such as a check or bank fraud, a handwriting analysis expert may also be needed.

Goal of The Defense

When dealing with a case where a conviction is likely, the goal of the defense is to get the most favorable outcome possible. In order to meet that goal, it is important to make the victim whole, contrite, and apologetic. Individuals that are apologetic about what happened, do not have a long criminal history and are able to help make the victim whole, have a better chance of getting a favorable outcome or a reduced sentence. In theft cases, mitigating any damage to the victim can go along way toward making everyone feel better about the case and relieving some of the stress that can be on a defendant.

When to Contact a Lawyer

In Hanover, it is advisable for a person to contact a lawyer the moment that they find out they have been accused of theft. If there is an active warrant, they should contact a lawyer before the warrant is served to let them as a lawyer can help them turn themselves in and increase their chances of receiving a bond.

On the other hand, if the individual has been arrested and did not know about the theft charge, they should call a lawyer to help them get out of jail, explore the case, and figure out what is going to be their best option going forward.