If you are charged with theft or larceny, you may be under the impression that your predicament is fairly cut and dry and with very little wiggle room to mount a defense for yourself. The state of Florida, as with many other states, has conditions under statute describing what qualifies for theft as well as the severity of punishment for any specific case.
With the help of a criminal defense lawyer there are several different defenses one can pursue if he/she happens to be taken to court on a theft charge.
Intoxication as Defense for Theft
Albeit not a wide-spanning defense to be used for more serious cases, claiming intoxication is a popular defense that offenders use to defend against their theft charges. This defense is usually only used on circumstances where it could be conceivable that your inebriation has caused you to make an honest mistake and accidentally take someone else’s belongings.
For example, you might be in a casual setting, like a party or get-together, and possibly take something that does not belong to you. This is where an intoxication defense is best utilized. Of course, sufficient proof must be provided to show an honest mistake has been made.
Returning the item in question will surely aid you in your efforts, whether pursuing an intoxication or any other defense. Inebriation will not work as a defense in scenarios where trespassing or assault was also involved.
Entrapment as Defense for Theft
Most likely resonating with circumstances when drug charges are at hand, and you feel the authorities have violated their boundaries, “entrapment” is the defense used; this also can be applied to theft cases. Unlike the previous scenario, an entrapment defense with theft charges does not necessarily have to be applied to the police.
You can also use an entrapment defense if you believe that a person present during the event in question influenced you to take the item(s) for which you are now being charged with theft.
Considering physical proof would be nearly impossible to present for this defense (unless video/audio recordings can be obtained). You would most likely have to use witness testimony to support your potential entrapment defense.
Contact a trusted legal defender for more information.