Theft charges are often based on specific circumstances that led a person to believe that you were trying to deprive someone of an item that was rightfully theirs. Think about shoplifting. If you slipped something in a bag while you meandered around the store, it could be construed that you were going to steal the item, even if you weren’t anywhere near the exit.
When you are facing theft charges, finding ways to defend yourself is a priority. These can vary considerably, but you should at least look into all of the possibilities so that you can choose the one that best meets the circumstances of your case.
One possible defense is being intoxicated. While intoxication isn’t really an excuse for theft, the fact that you aren’t in your right mind and unable to make a judgment call might explain the theft. This could lead to you showing that you weren’t purposefully trying to deprive the rightful owner of the items in question.
Another possible defense is that the item was actually your item. This could be the case if the person gave you something and then turned around and cried theft when you took possession of it. You will likely need to show evidence that backs up this claim.
If you returned the property in question, you could claim that you were only borrowing it. This defense might not get you off of the charges, but it could land you with a more sympathetic prosecutor or jury.
Other defense options, such as entrapment, are also possible. Before you claim these defenses, you should think carefully about them. Ultimately, you need the defense that shows what truly happened in your case.
Source: FindLaw, “Theft Defenses,” accessed June 09, 2017