Theft is typically defined as taking another person’s property without consent with the intent of depriving that person of it permanently. As far as Ohio criminal law is concerned, the alleged details of one’s case will be used to determine the category and degree of theft charges that are ultimately filed. This, of course, will impact the severity of the potential consequences tied to a conviction.
Back to the definition of theft, two things really stick out: taking and intent. The intent behind taking the property is going to matter when fighting a theft charge. Misunderstandings occur, things are done while under duress and people do things when not in the right frame of mind. Do any of these things warrant criminal conviction?
If charged with theft, one may have several options when it comes to fighting the accusations in court. Again, the details of one’s case will determine which defense option will be best suited. Common defenses include:
- Claiming ownership of the property: If one claims ownership, he or she will need to provide evidence that the property actually does belong to him or her.
- Intoxication: If one claims intoxication, he or she will need to prove he or she did not realize the property was not his or hers because he or she was not in the right frame of mind due to impairment.
- Claiming the property was borrowed: In order for this defense to be successful, one will have to provide evidence that there was intent to return the property.
- Entrapment: To claim entrapment, one will need to prove that he or she was forced into committing the theft by another person.
Theft in any of its forms is taken seriously in Ohio. An experienced criminal law attorney can assist those who are facing theft charges take the actions necessary to achieve the best outcomes possible. This may be by seeking case dismissals or by requesting alternative sentencing options in order to minimize the consequences of conviction.
Source: FindLaw, “Theft Defenses“, Accessed on April 25, 2017