When you are accused of theft, you have to start thinking about your defense as soon as possible. There are several options that you have. Which ones you choose must depend on the facts of your case, not on what defense worked for someone you know of who faced a theft charge and was found not guilty.
In some cases, you might be able to claim that you were intoxicated at the time of the alleged theft. This wouldn’t be appropriate in every case, but might be valid in cases that involve property that was enough like your property that you mistook the taken property for your own. You would need to have a way to prove that the intoxication led you to take the item.
You might be able to claim that you were the owner of the property. You can’t just use this on a whim because you want an easy defense. Instead, you will need to show why or how you thought you had a claim of ownership to the property in question.
In some cases, returning the property might be a useful component in your defense. This can work in a couple of different ways. If you are able to show that you intended to return the property when you took it, the condition of theft that requires that you had an intent to deprive the owner of the property might not be present, which could help your defense. It might also help you to get a plea deal or something similar if it doesn’t do away with the charges completely.
Your case may need only one of these, or it could need them all. There are some cases that might need a defense that goes in a completely different way. No matter what your case involves, the unique circumstances of it must be considered as part of your defense.
Source: FindLaw, “Theft Defenses,” accessed Oct. 13, 2016