Under the criminal laws of New Jersey, theft is a crime that happens when property is taken by someone without permission. In theft cases, there are two main factors to consider: the type and worth of the property taken. These elements help determine the severity of the charge and consequences if deemed guilty. It is in the best interest of the accused to hire one of our firm’s Newark municipal court lawyers for guidance during this time.
Each of the Newark municipal court lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can create a defense strategy to help protect you from a conviction or enduring overly harsh punishments for the crime if proving innocence isn’t likely. Here we have listed the most commonly used defense strategies for theft arrests. After consulting with you about your situation, your municipal court lawyer may decide one or more of the following may be part of your defense:
In specific circumstances, the intoxication defense may be used for a theft crime. There may be an instance where the accused was under the influence when the property was stolen (whether that be alcohol, drugs, or other substances), and had only done so due to being in that intoxicated state of mind. If it can be shown that the accused believed the property was his or hers due to being impaired, the defense could be persuasive.
#2 Claim of Ownership
Claiming that the accused thought the property was theirs takes more than simply stating so in court. With help from one of our Newark municipal court lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C., the accused can show they had a claim to the property through evidence and proof which supports this belief. This can also help emphasize that the accused didn’t actually have a true intent to commit the crime, at least in the same way we think about most standard theft cases.
#3 Returning Property
Returning property back to the original owner may not get the case dismissed in court, but it can help prevent the accused from facing charges in the first place. For example, if the theft happened but the accused returned the property shortly after, the plaintiff may decide that pressing charges is no longer required or desired. If the case has already begun, then returning the property can help decrease damages if the accused is found guilty of the crime.
The concept of entrapment is when a person does commit a crime, but only did so because he or she was influenced or pressured by another individual who was pursuing the true offender. This defense may apply in situations where an officer had lured a person to commit the theft, when the accused may not have done so otherwise. The entrapment strategy can be tricky to use, so we encourage people to contact one of the Newark municipal court lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. before trying to create their own defense.
The above theft defenses can be useful, but not if the accused pleads them at the wrong time and in the wrong manner. If you have been arrested for theft, we do not recommend standing this fight alone. Please call us immediately for an appointment with one of the skilled Newark municipal court lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. The sooner you get help, the more time we have to build an appropriate defense.