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Accused of theft? There is a defense for you

It was an innocent mistake. You picked up some nested home décor containers at the department store, paid for your purchases and walked out. The alarm started ringing as you stepped through the exit and security came over to check your receipt. It turns out that the cashier had not rung up your purchases correctly and several items that you thought you paid for were not included on the receipt. The store called the police and opted to press charges for theft.

Fortunately, there are several legal defenses that apply to charges of theft. Even if the facts of your case support the claim that you took property without permission, your attorney can still provide a proper defense. For example, your alleged theft occurred due to an honest mistake, which may be easy to prove if there is security footage available.

The first step in ensuring that you have a proper defense is to choose a Louisiana attorney that can protect your rights and interests. Your attorney can explain the state's criminal law, the court process, and how best to handle your case.

Read below for common defenses against theft.

Good faith belief

You may have a valid defense if you can prove that you had a good faith belief that you had a valid claim to the property you took. In your case, you were under the impression that the cashier had correctly rung up your entire purchase. In order to prove that you had a good faith belief that the property was yours, you will have to provide evidence.

Under the influence

Perhaps you had a few margaritas at lunch before you went shopping and you were not paying enough attention to what you were doing. You could have been intoxicated enough that you forgot about those items you put into the new purse you were purchasing to keep them from falling out of your shopping basket. In order to be guilty of theft, you have to be sober enough to form an intent to steal. You may have a viable intoxication defense against the theft charges.

Return of property

Returning the property that the store accused you of stealing does not necessarily provide a defense against the theft. However, returning the items can cause the prosecutor or jury to view you more sympathetically. This may help reduce penalties if you decide to make a plea deal.

There is a defense for your alleged theft in the right circumstances and with a good attorney. When you first meet with a lawyer, take the time to become informed of your rights and options

 

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Magee, Zeringue & Richardson, Attorneys at Law
207 E Gibson St
Covington, LA 70433

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