Meriden Theft Lawyer
Connecticut law defines theft, referred to as larceny in Connecticut, as wrongfully taking, obtaining, or withholding someone else’s property, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that property – or to appropriate it to a third person.
Connecticut and all other states view theft charges very seriously, and offenders may be subject to fines and court costs. As such, it is essential that you have an experienced Meriden theft lawyer representing you every step of the way while your theft case is pending.
An adept theft attorney may be able to help you get your charges dropped or obtain a charge reduction and may also be able to assist you with obtaining a reduced criminal sentence if you are convicted.
Theft Related Charges
Minor thefts, or ‘petit thefts,’ as they are sometimes called, are less serious theft crimes such as shoplifting. Thefts may be charged as either felonies or as misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances, and the possible penalties upon conviction are loosely based upon the dollar amounts of the property stolen.
Other types of theft/larceny under the Connecticut criminal statutes include the following:
- Taking property by false pretenses
- Taking property that has been lost or delivered by mistake
- Theft of services
- Receipt of stolen property
- Theft of a motor vehicle
- Fraudulent ATM use
- Theft of utility service
Elements of Proof and Possible Defenses
In order for the State to prove that a theft or larceny occurred, the prosecutor must prove that the accused possessed the specific intent to commit a crime. In criminal cases, the State has the burden of proof and must demonstrate specific intent beyond a reasonable doubt – or beyond a doubt based upon ordinary reason and common sense.
In the case of shoplifting, for example, the theft is complete when an item is concealed in a purse or pocket – not when the merchandise is physically removed from the store. Therefore, a person could be charged with and convicted of shoplifting, even if the merchandise remained in the store. The key to proving a theft offense is showing the accused’s intent to commit the crime.
Theft crimes, just like all other crimes, have various defenses associated with them. A Meriden theft lawyer may be able to help you formulate a good legal defense to your theft charge. The criminal defendant has the burden of proving a theft defense, and if the defense is successful, the defendant’s charges may be dropped.
Possible defenses to a Meriden theft charge include the following:
- Lack of criminal (specific) intent
- Mistaken identity
- Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
Possible Penalties upon Conviction
The penalties imposed in Connecticut theft cases can be extremely harsh. As such, it is essential that you have a good criminal defense attorney on your side safeguarding your legal rights. Possible penalties for theft upon conviction include the following:
- Jail time
- High fines and costs
- Driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- Loss of job or professional license
Again, the amount of the fine and/or the length of incarceration upon conviction are generally determined by the dollar amount of the property stolen.
Contact a Meriden Theft Attorney Today
A Meriden criminal defense lawyer can analyze all of the facts and circumstances of your theft case, help you to assemble all of the necessary evidence, and assist you with formulating potential legal defenses to your charge. Contact a knowledgeable and skilled Meriden theft lawyer who can work to achieve a positive outcome for you.