Common Defense for Theft

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Theft is primarily defined as the illegal appropriation of property. According to the website of criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis, the penalties for a theft conviction can be quite serious under the Texas Penal Code. When charged with theft and the property had actually been taken by the defendant, there are a few defense that a defense lawyer may apply depending on the circumstances.


One of the requirements for a charge of theft to stick is that there an intent to steal. If the defendant can prove that at the time of the incident he or she was under the influence of an intoxicating substance (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and had no mental capacity to form intent, it may succeed in having the charges dismissed or reduced.

Right of Ownership

If the property is the defendant’s obviously a charge of theft will not stick. However, there are circumstances when the defendant did take someone else’s property in the belief that he or she had right of ownership. The defendant took someone else’s luggage from an airport carousel, for example, believing that it was his or hers to take because it was similar or even identical to their property. The defendant has to prove that it was an “honest mistake” such as by producing their luggage and demonstrating that it does indeed look similar enough to have been switched.


This is a rather complicated defense for theft because the defendant has to prove that the property owner had induced the defendant to take the property in order to substantiate a charge of theft. A shrewd defense lawyer will have to show that the plaintiff had lured the defendant to commit the crime for whatever reason.

Return of Property

In most cases, returning the property cannot be used as a defense against a theft charge unless the defendant can prove that there was intent to return the property when it was taken. The defendant can claim that the property had merely been “borrowed.”

If you are facing a charge of theft, it is important that you understand your rights and protections under the law. Engage the services of a reputable defense lawyer in your area to help you avoid a conviction.

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