Accused of Theft? Possible Criminal Defense Strategies

If you have been accused of any kind of crime, it is essential that you have a compelling and strategic defense, as this will be key to maintaining your innocence and for obtaining optimal results. A criminal defense attorney will talk to you about the details and circumstances of your individual situation to decide what the appropriate approach is. Keep reading to learn about a few strategies that attorneys often use to help their clients who have been accused of theft.

Establish a Right of Ownership

With the argument of right of ownership, an accused individual presents the idea that they believed that the allegedly stolen item was theirs, and as a result, they could do whatever they wanted with the item. For instance, assume a young individual has a vehicle that their parent purchased and registered in their name. After the child has an argument with their parents, they take the vehicle, and the parents contact the police to report the automobile stolen. The accused individual could potentially argue that they had reason to believe that the vehicle was theirs, and because of this, a crime was not committed.


With the strategy of entrapment, an attorney will argue that another person forced you to steal the piece of property that is in question. Now, in order for this particular strategy to be effective in court, there needs to be compelling evidence that you were essentially under pressure from the other individual to commit the crime. As a general rule, the accused individual must show that they faced the threat of harm or imminent danger of some form from the other individual had they not stolen the piece of property in question.


A strategic defense of intoxication is pretty straightforward, as it consists of arguing that the accused individual was either under the influence of drugs or alcohol and therefore not responsible for their actions. With this particular strategy, the accused individual will generally suggest that they took the property on accident due to the alcohol or drugs clouding their judgment. Individuals who decide to move forward with the intoxication defense generally have a history of drug or alcohol abuse that can be verified

Intent to Return the Property

With this criminal defense strategy, an attorney will form an argument that the accused individual was simply borrowing the item and had every intention to return the property. Attorneys who utilize this strategy will show that the accused had no intent to steal the property and truly forgot to give the item back afterward. If there was no honest motive to steal the property, then the action that was performed cannot be referred to as theft.

If you have been accused of theft, contact a criminal defense attorney in your area.