A Theft Defense Attorney Can Offer Advice to Help a Defendant

by | Sep 11, 2015 | Lawyers & Law Firms

Theft, otherwise referred to as larceny, is the taking of another person’s property with the intent of depriving them of it permanently. The definition of theft has several elements, and each must be documented to prove that a crime has been committed. Below is a brief description of the elements of a case handled by a Theft Defense Attorney.


When a person takes something from another person and carries it away, a theft has only occurred if the taking was wrongful. If a person does not have a right to the items they’ve taken, their taking is wrongful and a theft has happened.

Taking below

Taking of property occurs when a person controls the item, even if only for a brief time. A person can have control over something and never touch it. For instance, if a defendant sells another person’s car, they’ve taken it even though they never drove it. It is not necessary to touch an item to wrongfully take it.

Carrying Away

The element of “carrying away” is met when the property is moved (if only slightly) from its original position. Rearranging or shuffling property isn’t enough to meet the definition of “carrying away,” but slight movements may satisfy the legal requirement.


For a theft to occur, the property must be wrongfully taken and then carried away. In days gone by, only movable items were considered property, but the definition has broadened considerably. A partial list of property types includes:

  • Real estate
  • Tangible items
  • Documents (plane tickets, money, passports)
  • Digital information
  • Personal services
  • Intellectual property

Another Person’s Property

Property is someone else’s as long as it does not belong to the defendant. This is the simplest element of a theft crime; it merely means that an item belongs to another person and is not abandoned.

Permanent Deprivation

For a wrongful taking of property to meet the definition of theft, the taker must intend to keep the property. A theft has not occurred if the taker only wants to borrow the property and, in some jurisdictions, intent is implied if there’s a risk involved with the taking of the property.

Anyone accused of a theft should call a lawyer right away. There are different kinds of theft, and each type is handled differently by a Theft Defense Attorney. A theft lawyer with website can advise clients of their legal rights, and they can aid in the navigation of the legal system.

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