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Common Defenses to Theft Crimes

June 20, 2024
By The Wiseman Law Firm

Theft involves unlawfully taking property without the owner’s consent. Depending on the specifics of the case, penalties for a theft crime can range from a minor fine to, in rare cases, life imprisonment. Fortunately, from misconceptions to mistaken identities, there are numerous defenses available that a skilled attorney can use to challenge the charges and protect your rights.

Led by Attorney Simon Wiseman, The Wiseman Law Firm provides personalized and aggressive defense strategies tailored to your unique situation. With over two decades of experience in criminal defense, Simon Wiseman has successfully defended clients against a wide range of theft-related charges in Central Florida. He is committed to thoroughly investigating your case, uncovering any possible defenses, and fighting tirelessly for your rights and interests.

How to Fight Theft Charges in Central Florida

Whether the theft occurs through shoplifting, swindling, embezzlement, or any other form, a conviction can result in severe penalties. If you have been accused of theft, there are some common defenses to theft crimes your attorney may utilize to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. They include:

Lack of Intent

One of the most common defenses to theft charges is the lack of intent. In many cases, individuals may mistakenly take property without intending to deprive the owner of its rightful possession. For example, if you accidentally leave a store without paying for an item or genuinely believe you had permission to take the property, you may have a defense based on lack of intent.


Another defense to theft charges is consent. If you had permission from the owner to take the property or believed you had permission, you may be able to argue that your actions were lawful. This defense is often used in cases involving disputes over ownership or misunderstandings regarding property rights.

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken identity is a common defense in theft cases, especially when the prosecution’s evidence relies heavily on eyewitness testimony or circumstantial evidence. If it can be demonstrated that you were misidentified as the perpetrator or if your lawyer is able to provide evidence showing that someone else committed the theft, it may cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

Duress or Coercion

If you were compelled to commit theft under duress or coercion, you may have a valid defense to the charges. For example, if someone threatened you with harm unless you stole property on their behalf, you may be able to argue that you acted under duress and should not be held criminally liable for your actions.


Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce or persuade an individual to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. If your criminal defense attorney can demonstrate that you were entrapped by law enforcement into committing theft, you may have a defense to the charges.

Ownership or Right to Possession

In some cases, individuals may mistakenly believe they have a legal right to the property they are accused of stealing. If you genuinely believed you owned the property or had a legal right to possess it, you may have a defense based on ownership or right to possession.

Insufficient Evidence

Finally, if the prosecution’s evidence against you is weak or insufficient to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you may have a defense based on lack of evidence. Your attorney can challenge the sufficiency of the evidence and argue that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof.

Were You Arrested for a Theft Crime in Orlando, Florida? Contact Us Today

Facing theft charges is stressful, but with the right legal representation and strategic defense, you can effectively fight back against the allegations. At The Wiseman Law Firm, we can evaluate your case, identify potential defenses, and advocate for your rights. With Attorney Simon Wiseman’s skilled legal guidance, you can work towards achieving a favorable outcome and putting the charges behind you.

If you were arrested for a theft crime in Orlando, do not wait to partner with a criminal defense attorney. Contact The Wiseman Law Firm to set up a consultation with Attorney Simon Wiseman today to discuss your case and learn how he can help you. Call (407) 420-4647 or contact us online.

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