Theft Defence Lawyers Greenock, Dunoon & Dumbarton, West of Scotland

A theft conviction can have a significant impact on your life, including your employability, liberty and relationships. Theft is a broad charge, covering instances of minor shoplifting through to high value crimes. 
Our criminal defence solicitors have an excellent track record in defending theft cases. We know this will be a difficult time for you, so we will provide clear, honest advice and regular communication to ensure you are not left in the dark about your future. We are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and securing the best possible outcome in your case.
At Westcourts, we specialise solely in criminal defence and road traffic offences , allowing us to provide our full attention and provide a high-quality service. We understand that your case is of the utmost importance to you. Our client-focused approach ensures your position and requirements are clearly understood and represented at every stage. 

What to do if you are accused of Theft

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, Shoplifting and Robbery Offences in Scotland

Theft is ‘taking or appropriating the property of another without the true owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property’. This is a straightforward definition of what, in reality, is a complicated offence. Theft covers a broad range of activities with varying degrees of gravity and consequences. We regularly assist clients with all forms of theft charges, including the following: 

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. 

Contact our Theft Defence Lawyers for Greenock, Dunoon, Dumbarton, Lochgilphead, Rothesay, Campbeltown, Oban and across Scotland

If you need advice and representation concerning any sexual offence allegations, contact Westcourts today – it is important to act quickly. We are available to discuss your case at any time of day, and our lawyers are willing to travel wherever you are. You can contact our team by calling 01475 601 999 or please fill in our online contact form.

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