There are many different ways you can be charged with a theft crime in Scranton. Shoplifting a candy bar from a convenience store will definitely be treated differently than if you steal a car, but these crimes fall under the same broad umbrella.
Any conviction can have long-term consequences on your life. If the conviction is serious enough, you could spend years in jail and face large fines. Even a misdemeanor conviction can haunt you, creating a permanent criminal record that could impact your ability to find a good job, rent an apartment, or take out a loan.
How You Can Be Defended Against a Theft Charge
Your attorney can use several possible strategies to create reasonable doubt that can lead to an innocent verdict.
To prove theft, a prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant had the intent to deprive an owner of his or her property without their consent or knowledge. If, for instance, you borrowed a rake from a neighbor but forgot to return it, a lack of intent is clearly present and would not meet the test for theft.
At times, a person may be under duress to commit a theft, perhaps because a third party threatened them with bodily harm or death. Closely related to this is blackmail.
Another defense is to claim ownership of the property in question. If a defendant can show they actually own the property or had reason to believe they were the owner, it may raise enough reasonable doubt to lead to a finding of innocence.
Contact Peters Law Firm If You Need Assistance with a Theft Charge
Peters Law Firm provides results-driven, affordable, and compassionate legal representation for clients in Scranton, Clarks Summit, and surrounding Northeastern Pennsylvania communities.
If you need a criminal lawyer or assistance with a criminal matter, contact us for a free initial consultation at our main office in Clark’s Summit at (570) 585-0707, our Scranton area office at (570) 963-1610, or our Tunkhannock and Wyoming County office at (570) 836-0700 today.