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As soon as possible, contact a criminal defence lawyer with experience in theft cases. The earlier you seek legal advice, the better the outcome is likely to be. We will provide straightforward and reliable legal guidance from the outset and waste no time in reviewing all the evidence and constructing a robust defence.
It is important not to contact anyone or interfere with any property connected to the allegations. If you are arrested, you should not admit to anything in a police interview without speaking to us first.
Theft by finding
It is possible to commit theft in Scotland where you find and keep property and do not take reasonable steps to discover the owner. Central to cases of theft by finding is whether the person acted dishonestly in keeping the property.
This is a complex area of law and people can often unwittingly find themselves accused of this crime. Expert legal representation is encouraged if you find yourself in this situation.
Theft by shoplifting
Shoplifting is a common crime in Scotland. If you have been caught stealing from a shop, you could face being arrested and a potential sentence of imprisonment. A shoplifting prosecution or conviction can also have a severe impact on your employment prospects.
We recommend you take the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer at an early stage. We can help you navigate the criminal justice system and provide the best defence for your circumstances.
Shoplifting high-value goods
In the prosecution of shoplifting offences, the court will look at the value of the goods stolen and whether there was full recovery. The courts take these charges seriously and if convicted then you could face a long term period of imprisonment.
Theft by housebreaking
If a person breaks into a property, whether domestic or other, and steals items, this will be considered an aggravating factor in their case. On conviction, this will increase the penalty.
Theft by opening lockfast places (OLP)
This is also an aggravated offence and includes circumstances such as opening a locked garage or shed and stealing items from inside. This is another offence that the courts will take seriously.
They will look at the manner and means by which the offence was committed, together with the items an accused person stole or intended to steal when determining sentence. This offence does not include motor vehicles, as this is a separate offence.
Reset of stolen goods
Reset occurs if a person is in dishonest possession of property that was obtained by another, by way of theft or robbery, with the knowledge that the property was taken in that way.
You can be convicted of reset even where you acquire property in good faith but later find out that it was stolen and keep the property anyway.
Robbery occurs if theft is carried out by an act of violence. The crime is distinct from theft but involves many of the same elements. For robbery to have taken place, the violence does not need to amount to assault – intimidation is enough. The violence must have taken place before the theft for robbery to have occurred. Where a theft results in violence, this would be two separate charges of theft and assault.
Defending Theft Charges
Theft cases often involve a thorough examination of the evidence as, most often, those accused of theft will not have been apprehended at the scene of the crime. In most cases, circumstantial evidence, such as possessing the goods, will be used to prove the case against you. In shoplifting cases, CCTV is heavily relied upon. We will scrutinise all of the evidence held against you and explore every avenue for your defence.
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