Theft crimes often carry serious penalties if convicted. If you have been accused or charged with theft, an experienced theft defense lawyer at Boatwright Legal can help you all through the phases of your case. From investigating to developing defense strategies and from court appearances to appeals, an experienced lawyer can help guide you and protect your rights.
What are the first steps after you have been arrested for theft?
Request to talk to a lawyer
Law enforcement officers might invite you to come down to the station and have a friendly chat with them about the case. You may feel you need to do this to help show you aren’t guilty and for the opportunity to tell your side of the story.
It’s understandable why you would want to clear your name. However, it’s always wise to speak with an attorney before you make any statement, to protect your future and clear your name from any accusations against you. You should ideally remain silent, and know that doing so doesn’t mean they’ll see you as guilty.
Don’t forget that if you are taken to trial, the jury will never know that you refused to give a statement. The judge won’t know that you asked for a lawyer.
On the same note, our theft lawyers strongly recommend not giving law enforcement permission for anything. If they want to search your pockets, search your car, or look through your home, just politely decline and talk to a lawyer immediately.
The Initial Consultation
After you reach out to a theft lawyer, they will schedule an initial consultation with you. Knowing what to expect from this initial consultation can help you make the most out of this time. During the first meeting, you can expect to discuss the circumstances of your arrest. This includes what exactly happened, who was there, what the police said or did, and what you said or did.
You should ideally share everything you know about the circumstances surrounding and leading to the arrest, along with the charges filed against you. Withholding information from your lawyer or providing them with the wrong information could harm your defense. It may blindside your lawyer at a later date, which could negatively impact your defense.
Keep in mind that your lawyer has a professional responsibility to keep all of your discussions confidential, so there’s no benefit to holding back. Be sure to also discuss your concerns, such as how an incarceration or conviction may affect you and your family, and your possible exposure. Don’t forget to discuss pricing, available payment plans, etc.
Aside from advising you and protecting your rights, your lawyer will represent you in all aspects of the case and develop a proper defense strategy on your behalf.
If you have been charged with theft, you should know that the prosecution will be working hard to build a solid case against you. It’s critical to have a lawyer that can conduct an independent investigation on your behalf. This investigation has several purposes.
It will verify and validate the investigation conducted by law enforcement. It’s not uncommon for the police to identify a suspect and start building a case around them. Your attorney will reinterview witnesses, review the police investigation, and conduct an assessment of the evidence gathered to find weaknesses in their case.
It’s also an opportunity to find new evidence and witnesses. Our thorough independent investigation could help identify witnesses with some new information and any other pieces of evidence not discovered during the police investigation, which could help contradict the prosecution’s case. It’s also information that could discredit the prosecution’s witness during trial and allow your lawyer to strategize how to handle testimony during the trial.
When you have a court date for the theft charges, it’s very important to have an experienced criminal lawyer by your side.
During your first court appearance, your lawyer will meet the prosecution and discuss the case. The prosecutor will share with your lawyer the police reports, witness statements, and video evidence in your theft case and offer sentencing proposals contingent on the fact that you will plead guilty before trial. This is referred to as plea bargaining.
Plea bargaining will often mean the prosecution offers you a reduced sentence to secure a conviction without the process of a trial. Attending a court hearing without the benefits of a lawyer could make a reduced sentence sound appealing. However, the offer may not be great when you consider the fine print.
Your lawyer will use their experience in criminal practice to help you negotiate the most favorable plea deal. If the prosecution makes a plea offer, your attorney will discuss it with you and allow you to have the final say on whether or not to accept the deal.
The main aim of the justice system is to punish persons that are guilty of committing crimes, not convicting innocent people that have been intimidated by the system. Unfortunately, it’s common for innocent people to plead guilty because they think it will result in reduced charges. However, if you’re innocent, you should have faith in the system, and you won’t be convicted wrongfully.
If you are not guilty, we will encourage you to plead not guilty. In case the evidence doesn’t suggest that you’re guilty, we will still encourage you to plead not guilty. We have extensive trial experience and look forward to appearing in court to stand up for you. Boatwright Legal has an excellent overall record of winning record cases.
Get Help with Your Theft Case
When facing a theft case alone, having good legal advice and aggressive representation can make all the difference in your chances of a successful outcome. No matter the severity of the charge, you need a lawyer who is well experienced in criminal defense and understands how the prosecution will build their case.
At Boatwright Legal, we provide strategic defense against a wide number of criminal charges, including theft charges. When we take up your case, we will represent you both in and out of the courtroom. You can be sure that your defense team has decades of experience and a legal team that will do everything in its power to get the best outcome for you and protect your rights.
We handle all types of theft charges in South Carolina. We have successfully defended clients accused of burglary, shoplifting, auto theft, and more. We know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, and we can build you a strong defense.
If you or someone close to you has been charged with theft, don’t hesitate to call a theft defense lawyer at 864-745-9758. We are here to help.