Being charged with theft in South Carolina is serious. If convicted, this charge may result in fines, jail time and other consequences.
Because of the severity of the potential consequences, it’s best to learn about the potential defenses you can use. Some viable options can be found here.
Returning the property
One way to defend against theft charges is by returning what was stolen. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t still be charged with theft. While this is true, showing good faith by returning the property may convince the court to have leniency on you.
This is a tricky defense to use. If you can prove that you were too intoxicated to know you were stealing something, it may help in one way. However, this may also carry other charges, like public intoxication, which is also a crime.
You had a right to the property
You may take an item from someone if you believe it is rightfully yours. This may occur if there’s an item that was once yours or belonged to you in the past. You may also defend yourself by stating that the individual who owned the item taken owed you money, and you took the item to recoup the money owed.
Being under duress
If you are being threatened and forced to take something, you can use this as a defense for your theft charge. However, you will have to prove that this situation occurred.
Defending yourself against a theft charge in South Carolina
If convicted, theft charges may have serious consequences. Because of this, you must know more about the potential defenses available to you. Talking with an experienced defense attorney can help you learn more.