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Considerations on North Carolina theft crimes, Part 2

We noted in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our January 8 entry) that a criminal theft charge appearing fairly straightforward on first appearance might actually entail material ambiguity -- even flat-out uncertainty -- on a number of fronts.

Given that ready potential in any given case, we point out in that post from last week that "an experienced criminal defense attorney may find one or more material weaknesses" in a theft-based prosecution against a client.

Here's one: Although an accused North Carolinian might have indeed removed (that is, taken away) property belonging to another person or a business, he or she might have had no intent whatever to do so in a manner that was against the law.

And here's another: In some instances, a person having the requisite intent to unlawfully take away assets belonging to another might have failed to actually remove such property to another location in an effort to conceal it.

Actually, a number of theft defenses are sometimes available to an experienced criminal defense attorney in addition to those enumerated immediately above. Here are just a few:

  • The value of property at issue was so negligible that prosecuting a matter simply makes no sense
  • A charged person was merely in the company of an offending party and had no knowledge of criminal activity or intent to commit a crime
  • Lenient treatment is justified owing to a client's generally positive reputation in his or her community
  • Criminal justice authorities erred in some aspect of their investigation and follow-up

Any North Carolina resident being investigated for a theft offense or who has been criminally charged with commission of a theft crime might reasonably want to secure the timely and focused services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. As this blog post notes, doing so can sometimes make a material difference in the outcome of a case.

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