Can Accidental Actions Lead to Theft Charges in Colorado Springs?

Theft is a serious problem all over the US, which is why it comes with severe consequences for those who are caught. If you are facing theft charges from accidental actions, it’s crucial that you understand what this could mean. Theft charges can significantly impact your life even if you did not intentionally steal anything.

To avoid serious theft charges in Colorado Springs, you will need to hire a top criminal defense attorney to represent your case. A criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate theft charges in Colorado and provide the best defense strategy to reduce your risk of getting a misdemeanor or felony charge.

Can I Face Charges For Accidental Theft?

Accidental theft is relatively rare since most people steal with the intent of doing something illegal. In certain situations, you may face theft charges due to accidental actions.

Here are some examples of when someone may accidentally steal something without illegal intent:

  • Walking out of a store: If you are shopping, there is a chance that you could take an item and accidentally walk out without paying for it. It may be concealed in the shopping cart, or you may have put it in a shopping bag and forgotten to pay for it.
  • Self-checkout stealing: With the rising popularity of self-checkouts, accidentally stealing items is becoming more common. You may have thought you scanned an item, but it didn’t go into the system. Or you may have forgotten to scan it and put it in your shopping bag without paying for it.
  • Belief of consent: There are instances where you may believe you have consent to take something but do not. For example, you may think that someone is loaning you something or has given you permission to use their property.
  • Exchanging stolen goods: Someone may give you something or sell something to you that is actually stolen. This can result in you facing theft charges due to accidental actions since you were not the original person at fault.

Common Defenses For Accidental Theft

Facing theft charges in Colorado Springs due to accidental actions can feel very scary. No one wants to be labeled as a thief, especially when the theft was entirely unintentional or never happened in the first place.

One of the first steps you need to take when addressing these charges is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can help you navigate the legal process and find the best defense strategy to support your side of the story.

Unintentionally Taking Something

The most common type of accidental theft is accidental shoplifting. Your attorney can argue that you did not have intent to steal when you went into the store to shop. You may have picked up an item and mistakenly walked out with it, or it was hidden in your shopping cart, so you weren’t aware that it wasn’t paid for.
Receiving Stolen Goods From Another Person

Your criminal defense attorney may also argue that you received stolen goods from another person who did not disclose that the item was stolen. This can be a possible defense if you are discovered with stolen items, but there is no evidence that you stole them yourself.

For instance, you may be found carrying somebody else’s purse. Your attorney could argue that you were gifted the purse by another individual and were unaware that it wasn’t their property.

Stealing Under Duress

There may be rarer instances where your attorney can argue that you stole under duress. This would include situations where another person coerced or forced you to steal an item, therefore reducing some of your responsibility.

Insufficient Evidence

No matter what kind of charges you are facing, there has to be evidence to back up legal accusations. If there isn’t evidence that you stole something, your attorney could have the case thrown out all together.

An example of this is if a store accuses you of stealing an item. The store would need to produce some kind of evidence that shows the item wasn’t paid for, such as video footage of you walking out with the item.

Intoxication

Intoxication is not something that automatically clears anyone of illegal actions, but it can help lower charges. For instance, you may have stolen something when you were under the influence and did not have the intent to steal. Even though you committed an illegal action, this can help you get reduced charges.

How Serious Are Theft Charges In Colorado Springs?

No matter what state you are in, theft is a serious crime that can come with life-altering consequences. In Colorado Springs, theft is categorized as taking or depriving another individual of their property without their consent.

Depending on the type of theft and the situation, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. There are three classifications of misdemeanor you could face if the stolen goods have a value of less than $2,000. If the stolen item is worth more than $2,000, this could fall into a class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felony.

Both misdemeanor and felony theft charges come with serious consequences, such as jail time and significant fines. These charges also have long-term repercussions since a theft conviction will go on your permanent record. This can make it harder for you to find employment, and it is also something that will come up if a bank looks into your criminal record.

Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of Clifton Black

As overwhelming as it can feel to face theft charges in Colorado, this doesn’t always have to be permanent. There are many defenses your attorney can use to build a case in your favor to avoid serious charges or any charges at all.

At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, our goal is to provide our clients with empathetic and passionate legal representation. Our attorneys strive to get the best possible results so you don’t have to face life-altering consequences for a mistake. For expert legal representation, contact us today at (719) 328-1616 for a consultation.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

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