Though most people think about stealing something that belongs to someone else, the truth is that, in Minnesota, theft is a general term. In fact, it covers many different types of crimes.
So, what types of crimes are included in a theft charge.
- What most people think of when you think of theft. Taking something that belongs to someone else, without permission. You can simply take it, transfer, or conceal it, without planning on giving it back.
- If you find property that is lost but you keep it instead of trying to give it back to the original owner. It is important that you try hard to find the original owner before you decide to keep the property that you found.
- If you rent property but keep it instead of taking it back. You could rent a car but, when the time comes to return it, you decide to keep it.
- If you rent something but don’t pay for it. You may decide to rent a hotel room and leave without paying the bill. This could be considered theft.
- Falsely representing yourself in order to take possession of something. You could also attempt to get a title to something by pretending to be someone else.
- Filing a false medical claim. If you file a medical claim that isn’t real, you could be accused of theft because you are trying to steal money from your insurance company.
- Take a car or other vehicle without permission.
If you get accused of a theft crime, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. He or she will be able to discuss your case and options so that you come up with the right defense.
Here are some common defenses that you might want to think about for your case.
You can’t be convicted of theft if you believe that the property was yours. You can fight that you have a valid claim to the property. Even if you didn’t have a valid claim to it, you might be able to fight that you thought that you did.
Lack of proof/Innocence.
The prosecution must be able to prove, without a reasonable doubt, that you committed the crime. They may not have enough proof to place you at the scene of the crime.
If you have an alibi, there is a good chance that you can get your charges dropped. However, even if you don’t, as long as you can give the jury enough evidence that they begin to doubt whether or not you committed the crime, you might be able to get the charges dropped.
If you were intoxicated when the crime occurred, you might be able to use this as a defense. Usually with intoxication, you can say that you didn’t realize that you were taking something that didn’t belong to you.
Even though intoxication might not be enough to get the charges dropped, it might be able to get your charges decreased to a lesser charge.
If you committed the crime because someone forced you to, you might want to use the defense of entrapment.
Similar to entrapment, if you felt threatened and had to commit a crime, you could use duress as a defense.
Due to the fact that there are many types of crimes can be considered theft, it is important that you hire a lawyer to come up with a good defense. Most prosecutors don’t have enough proof, and you can get the charges dropped. If not, you might be able to give the jury enough doubt that they don’t convict you.
If you have been arrested for theft in Minnesota, don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be glad to discuss your case and your options in order to come up with the best plan of action.
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