Defenses Against Theft Charges
There are several defenses for theft charges, including:
- The accused had an honest claim to the involved property or service
- The accused acted under the belief that he or she had the right to the property or service
- The accused obtained the property or service under the belief that the owner would have allowed it if present.
Additionally, under Utah Criminal Code 76-6-604, the act of false arrest or imprisonment, defamation of character, assault, trespass, or violation of civil rights can be used as a defense against a merchant’s alleged probable cause for suspicion and detention.
If you were unaware that the property was in your possession, this may also be used to help build your defense. There have been instances where shoplifters have unknowingly kept items in their carts after checkout, and walked out of the store only to find they face charges of shoplifting. Your attorney can best determine what details surrounding your case can be used to efficiently combat the criminal charges.
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