Defense Strategies for Theft Cases in Maryland
How one builds a defense in theft cases depends on the variants of the case and what exactly the allegation is for theft. I look at those things and I build a defense from there. If it is a shoplifting case in which the loss prevention officer stops you in the middle of the store saying that you put something in your pocket, you may very well have done so, but you haven’t left with it.
If you’re in the process of checking out when they come over and grab you saying that they are going to detain you because you’re a thief, you could say that you’re not a thief because you’re standing there in the process of checking out and you haven’t left the store yet. At trial, the state is going to need a representative from the store, whether that is the officer who responded to the situation or a person from the store who made the report. That’s what they need and there has to be a victim. If it’s a case where the store has a camera, they need someone from the store to authenticate the video so that it will be acceptable in court and it is not just hearsay.
Seth Okin’s Approach to Theft Cases
When evaluating a case for the first time, I look at the location. If it is a shoplifting case, then I look at what store it was. If someone calls in about a theft case from a store, I want to know whether they took items from Walmart, Target, or J.C. Penney. I want to know who it was that they stole from, what they took, and what the value was. From there, I can assess what type of theft we are dealing with.
Common Questions Attorneys May Ask the Client
One of the first questions I always ask a client is, “Were you shown the video?” I ask them, “Did they take you to one of the rooms and say, ‘we have a video of you taking and putting this in your pocket, here it is.’ And did they then cue up a video and show it to you?” Because then we know that there is a video available.
The Value of an Attorney in Theft Cases
Seth Okin: An attorney can do a lot of things. If it is a low-level theft case, perhaps there is a theft aversion program, some community service, or something else we can get you into to help you avoid having a conviction. If it is a more serious theft charge, perhaps we can negotiate it down to a lesser offense or more minor theft charge. If it’s anything from minor shoplifting to major robbery or burglary and theft charges are attached to it, you need an attorney. The law itself is very specific, and if you are not familiar enough with these types of cases and how to work them, then you can’t handle it on your own. An attorney will be there to represent you. The advantage is that you have someone with experience and who has done this before. They will have insight into the specific type of case as well as insight into how that particular county deals with them.