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Can you accidentally steal something?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2021 | Blog, Criminal Defense, Theft Charges |

If you are charged with theft, it doesn’t mean that you have done anything wrong. There are several strategies for disputing the charge, and it may be possible to have the case thrown out before it reaches a Texas jury. Let’s take a closer look at the specific defenses that might be available to you.

You didn’t intend to deprive anyone of property

An individual cannot commit a crime if there was no intent to willfully take an action that he or she knew was in violation of state or federal law. For instance, if you accidentally left a hardware store without paying for the package of nails in your pocket, that wouldn’t necessarily be against the law. In such a scenario, you would likely be ordered to either return the item or to pay for it.

You have permission to borrow an item

If you have permission to borrow an item that belongs to someone else, the item’s owner generally cannot claim it was stolen. However, you will need to return the tool set, lawnmower, or other object to whoever loaned it to you at his or her request. A failure to do so might then be construed as an attempt to deprive a person of his or her property rights.

The item is your own property?

Generally speaking, you have the right to take back your own property if it was taken without your knowledge or permission. For example, let’s say that your car was stolen from your driveway. If you were to see it parked on the sidewalk while walking to work, you can take reasonable steps to reacquire it. A criminal law attorney might provide more information about how to prove ownership of something that you were accused of stealing.

If you’re accused of theft, larceny, or similar crimes, it’s generally a good idea to contact an attorney. He or she may be able to craft a legal strategy that might help you obtain a plea deal, acquittal, or other type of favorable outcome in your case.

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