Theft charges in California are serious criminal charges. It is helpful for individuals accused of committing theft crimes to know how to protect themselves. To do that, those accused of stealing in California should be familiar with ways to defend themselves from theft charges.

Defenses to theft charges

There are a variety of different criminal defense options available based on the situation and circumstances. It is important when developing a criminal defense strategy that it meet the needs of the accused individual and their particular situation and circumstances. Defense options to theft charges include:

  • A claim of ownership or the right of possession;
  • Owner’s consent;
  • Intoxication creating a lack of intent to steal;
  • Mistake of fact or law; or
  • Entrapment

Other common criminal defense options may also be available including challenging any illegal actions of authorities, challenging the facts as alleged by authorities and challenging the charges the accused individual is facing if any of their constitutional rights were violated.

Theft charges basics

Theft is defined as the taking of another’s property with the intent to permanently withhold the property from the owner. The accused individual needs to have the intent to steal. Theft can include taking personal property, real property, money or other forms of property as well.

Defenses to theft charges, or any other criminal charges, can be technical and complicated at times but their importance cannot be underestimated. Accused individuals need to understand the charges they are facing, what they are up against and how they can protect themselves from the serious impact of theft charges.