Common Defenses Against Theft Charges

A thief sneaking into a house

Protecting Your Rights

When facing criminal charges, it is important to know all of your potential defense strategies. One common charge is theft, which can be levied against individuals who have stolen property or assets. There are several defenses to use to argue against a theft charge, and it is important to have a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help you build the strongest case possible. In this blog, learn some of the most common defenses against theft charges.

Claim of Property

If you are charged with theft, one defense you may be able to argue is that you had a claim of property. This means that you believed that the item in question belonged to you. For this defense to work, you must be able to prove that your belief was reasonable. For example, if you were charged with stealing a car but can prove that you thought the car was yours because it has the same make and model as your own car, then this defense may be successful.

Lack of Control

Another defense against theft charges is called "lack of control." This defense argues that even though you may have taken an item, you never actually had control over it. An example of this could be if you had someone’s wallet without their knowledge or permission and their credit card was used to make a fraudulent purchase before you came into possession of the wallet. In this case, you would not be guilty of theft because you never had control over the wallet or the credit card.

Lack of Intent

The defense of "lack of intent" argues that you did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the item in question. For example, say that you borrowed a friend's laptop and accidentally left it on the bus. In this case, you would not have intended to permanently deprive your friend of their laptop, so you would not be guilty of theft.

Work with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with theft, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you determine which defense may be most appropriate in your situation. Know that if you face charges, whether they be theft or another crime, The Criminal Defense Team can help. We know that it can be worrisome to face charges, which is why we are committed to fighting for your rights throughout the process.


Learn more or schedule a consultation by calling (317) 565-2221 or by visiting our website.