Being charged with larceny is no laughing matter. You could be facing serious consequences if found guilty. However, those who are charged with this crime can argue any number of defenses in a court of law. Prosecutors have to prove that the individual committed every part of the crime. Once the defendant casts some form of doubt on their case, it opens the way for an acquittal. Larceny is essentially taking someone else's property with the intention of not giving it back to them at some point in time. Here are some of the commonly used defenses by those being charged with this crime.
A belief that the defendant owned the property.
You can't be convicted of larceny if the property you are taking is your own. If you honestly felt that the item in question was your own or you felt you had a right to use it, you haven't participated in larceny. Even if your belief isn't reasonable, you can still claim this defense. It is up to you to show that you honestly believed that you were entitled to use the item. This is where it might be a little difficult to prove with evidence.
You were the victim of entrapment.
Oftentimes, those who are charged with larceny will claim they are the victim of entrapment. This occurs whenever someone gets someone who is innocent to commit a crime that is out of character for them. In cases like these, police officers will convince individuals to steal items that the individual normally never would have done. For the individual claiming entrapment, they cannot have had any previous inclination to go out and commit the crime in question. The only reason they did so is because they were enticed into doing so.
The defendant had the consent of the owner.
While taking something that doesn't belong to you is one of the main components of committing a larceny, that doesn't apply if you were given permission from the owner. This can occur in a number of different ways. For example, if a property owner asks you to pretend like you robbed them of their property for the sole purpose of getting insurance money, it would constitute consent. You cannot be convicted of a larceny when the property owner told you to take it. However, you could be on the line for insurance fraud.
Just because you have been charged with a crime, that doesn't mean you are sunk. Speak with a good criminal defense lawyer to go over what you can do to fight the pending charges.
To learn more, contact a lawyer like Russ Jones Attorney At Law.