Ocean City Theft Defense Strategy
Theft charges are no small matter, and an attorney’s effort to prevent a conviction is going to depend on the facts and circumstances of the case they are working with. An experienced criminal defense attorney can compile those facts and develop a robust theft defense strategy in Ocean City.
A defense attorney will look at some of the most basic potential defenses, such as a mistaken identity, meaning the person charged is not the same person that stole the items. The attorney would be asking questions to determine if it is possible that the defendant had an alibi and was nowhere near the place when things were stolen.
A lot of times in theft cases, especially in Ocean City, somebody is trying to remove merchandise from a store. If that is the scenario, often times they are apprehended right there at the store. The question then is not “Who has done it?” but a question of “Is there some other type of defense that may be applicable?”
Sometimes in a case, it may not be possible to achieve a not guilty verdict. Then, the defense strategy shifts to mitigating the damages and trying to minimize the consequences that the client faces.
Often, a good theft defense strategy in Ocean City includes getting all the background information about the client and trying to determine any personal reasons that may be relevant. For example, if someone is dealing with a substance abuse issue, committed theft to support a drug habit, or is in a difficult place and stole out of necessity, that information is important to know when building an Ocean City theft defense. Strategically, that information might be used in one way or another when it comes to sentencing.
Expert witnesses can sometimes be a part of an Ocean City theft defense strategy. Sometimes, it is difficult to put a value on something, depending on what it is. If the item taken is a shirt in a store marked for sale for $9 that is easy, but if it is an item that may be difficult to determine the value of, it could potentially lead to having experts testify to give their explanation of the value.
In a situation where a defendant is charged with stealing antiques, an expert may be needed to determine the value. For the most part, however, theft cases do not require that sort of expertise.
Role of a Criminal Lawyer
An attorney is going to have a lot of different roles in the course of representing a person. The attorney is going to have the typical role of reviewing the case, analyzing the evidence, and making a determination about whether or not the state can prove the case they have brought against the defendant. That requires the attorney to review the evidence, review the police reports, interview the defendant and any other potential witnesses and make a decision about what the defense strategy will be.
The other role that the criminal lawyer will have is to gather information about the client to determine what to present potentially at sentencing. That scenario, for example, is meeting with a client who is dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues.
Sometimes, both of those things have collided together, and the attorney is working to prepare for sentencing. That could include getting the client the information necessary to enroll in classes, enter some sort of in-patient treatment, gather mental health records, or encourage the person to go get an assessment for the first time for potential mental health issues.
There are a lot of different hats that a criminal lawyer could be wearing at the same time when preparing a theft defense strategy in Ocean City.