Building a Fredericksburg Theft Defense
There are a variety of defense strategies that can be employed when someone has a theft charge in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The specific strategies that may be employed are as varied as the specific cases. Generally, an attorney wants to know as much as possible. They need to use every applicable resource they have to gather information about the case to decide which strategies to use.
In some cases, there may be a valid legal defense including alibi cases or cases where the Commonwealth is unable to prove the elements of the offense. In other cases, the attorneys rely on more of a mitigation defense. That means they try to point out all of the accused’s positive characteristics to overshadow or minimize the negative characteristics the Commonwealth can prove. The specific strategy that is taken comes together when the attorney and their potential work on a case and understand how the facts may be proven at trial.
Someone that has been charged with theft should consult an experienced theft attorney as soon as possible so that can start building a defense early on in the case.
The prosecutor must prove all of the specific elements of the theft charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Different charges have specific elements. Generally, it must be proven that there was a taking, that that taking was without the owner’s consent, and that what was taken has value. How that was done, how that was obtained, what was said, what the intent was, how the person got access to the items that were taken, are the variables that could set up the charge. Generally, the common element of theft is that some sort of unlawful taking without consent occurred.
Initial Steps for Preparing a Defense
Typically, every theft attorney starts by conducting an intensive interview with the charged individual, trying to get to know everything they know. They can use that as a roadmap to further investigations. That may include looking for third-party witness information, third-party videos, talking to the Commonwealth Attorney, conducting discovery to find out what the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office has regarding the case, and examining the police reports when they are available.
In those meetings, an attorney wants to know the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s of the case. They want to know how the offense allegedly happened, who was present, what statements were made, and everything that can be used to help build a defense.
While not commonly used, there is a limited role for experts in larceny offenses. Experts may be used in the determination of the value of items in larceny offenses. Depending on the sophistication and complexity of the offense, there may be other experts such as forensic accountants for embezzlement cases. Generally, experts are going to prevalent in this type of case.
Possible Probation or Reduced Sentence Options
An attorney’s role in representing their potential client is to seek out every possible avenue for the best result possible. This may include seeking out alternative arrangements for deferred findings or deferred or suspended and conditional sentences in which agreements are reached but the case does not continue forward. There may also be agreements to continue cases or for certain requirements to be met. There are a variety of things that investigators look at in these types of offenses. Likewise, if a plea is entered, one of an attorney’s roles is to make sure that the person’s interests are put forward. That means seeking out agreements in which their efforts are rewarded.
Role of an Attorney
A criminal lawyer plays an important role when someone is charged with theft or a theft-based offense. Commonly, their role is to advocate on behalf of the person. That means they can use their right to remain silent and their attorney can be their voice. They can identify the good side of the potential client’s background. They can present the positive information that the Commonwealth or the court might not have before them. They have only the negative things: the criminal history, the criminal complaint, and the allegation. An attorney can present the positives as well as the positive legal side of the case. It is very important to contact a skilled attorney if you have been charged with theft in Fredericksburg.