Defenses to Theft

Have you been arrested and charged with a theft crime? This is a crime that can have unforeseen consequences. A conviction for a theft crime could affect your ability to find a job or an apartment. It could also impact your chances of getting into college. If you decide to go to law school or medical school, it may prevent you from getting a license.

There are many valid defenses to theft, a few of which are listed below. Even if you think that these don’t apply in your case, you need to speak to a Tarrant County Criminal Lawyer. There are many ways to attack your charges and I can help you develop a gameplan. Here are some common defenses to theft:

It Was Your Stuff

Often times in theft cases, it is not clear who actually owns the property. There are situations that arise in which two people get into a dispute over ownership. If you are accused of stealing some, it is a valid defense if you had a good faith belief that the property belonged to you.

You Didn’t Mean To

This may sound silly, but because theft is a specific intent crime, you have to mean to. Specific intent means that you intentionally or knowingly took the property and you weren’t going to give it back. You can’t commit theft by accident. Not having the specific intent is one of the common defenses to theft

You Were Drunk

This is related to the last one. If you were arrested for theft when you were intoxicated on alcohol or drugs, this could mean you may have been unable to form the intent to steal. For example, you may have thought that something belonged to you when it did not.

You Just Borrowed It

An element of a theft crime is the intent to permanently deprive. If you can show that you that you intended to return the property, this could be a defense. However, this is not a complete defense to theft. A good example of this is stealing a car versus joyriding. Theft of a car is a more difficult charge to prove than joyriding. Joyriding, or unauthorized use of a vehicle, is taking a car without the intent to permanently deprive.


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