Were you recently arrested and charged with larceny? If so, you should know that being convicted of this crime will result in some pretty hefty consequences, including a potential jail sentence. That is why it is so important to begin planning your defense against these accusations as quickly as possible. Below you will learn more about the legal defenses to this charge and how each defense may apply to the facts in your particular case.
Defense #1: You Believed The Property Belonged To You
In order to be convicted of larceny, the prosecutor will need to prove that you intended to take another person's property. Assuming the property was found in your possession, this may seem like an easy fact to prove. However, if you had reason to believe the property belonged to you, you may be able to challenge this fact in court. If you are successful, the charges against you will be dropped.
When asserting this defense, it is important to remember that the court will apply what is known as the reasonable man standard. What this means is that the court will simply determine whether or not a reasonable man would have reached the same conclusion you did when presented with the exact same information.
For instance, if you take a bicycle from the end of your driveway and place it inside your garage, it may be reasonable to assume the bike was left their by your child and does in fact belong to you. However, if you take a bicycle from in front of a convenient store, it is not reasonable to believe the bike was yours.
Defense #2: You Had Permission To Possess The Property
Another key fact that the prosecution must prove is that you took the property in question without the permission of the rightful owner. If you either had permission or had reason to believe that permission was granted, you may be able to have the charges against you dropped by challenging this portion of the prosecution's case. Again, the court will use the reasonable man standard when determining whether or not your actions were against the law.
Imagine for a moment that you were arrested for stealing your neighbor's lawnmower. A few days earlier, your neighbor told you that you were welcome to use it whenever you wanted. In this situation, while you may be a bad neighbor for not asking directly before using the property, you are not guilty of larceny because the owner granted you permission to use the lawnmower.
Defense #3: You Intended To Return The Property
While this defense strategy is not used often, it is a complete defense to the charge of larceny when the facts of the case apply. This is because the final fact the prosecution will need to prove is that you intended to permanently deprive the rightful owner of their property.
Therefore, if you are able to prove that you intended to return the property, you cannot be convicted of larceny. However, you should be aware that convincing the court of your intention to return the stolen items can be incredibly difficult, especially if you have had these items for several weeks or longer.
A Final Thought
Being convicted of larceny will change your life forever. While reviewing the defense strategies above can help you to determine the best possible defense in your case, this is not a determination that should be made on your own. Instead, you will need to seek out the assistance of a qualified criminal attorney as soon as possible to begin planning your defense. This attorney will also be able to ensure the defense strategy you ultimately choose is properly executed in court.
To learn more, contact a company like Dimeo Law Offices with any questions you have.Share