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A theft charge can hinge on the accused's intentions

Many residents of California have found themselves engaged in an activity of some sort or another where they suddenly realize that they could get into a lot of trouble if caught. Fortunately, these minor incidents often go unheeded and nothing more is thought of them. However, not everyone is so lucky, and it is all too easy to get picked up for a minor offense that you would never normally have committed.

There are many ways this can happen. For example, you may have a drink or two too many and make an unfortunate decision, such as to carry off your neighbor's lawn chairs. While you might have had no actual intention to deprive your neighbor of their chairs, you could still be charged for removing the property without permission.

As this article on property crimes explains, the chances are that this scenario could be treated as a petty theft unless they were particularly valuable chairs. However, if you can show that you did not intend to steal them, this may be enough to overturn an accusation of theft. However, there is still a chance that you could face charges for another form of property crime.

The important thing to remember is that under the law, you are innocent unless your guilt can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. As such, if you can preserve that doubt at all, you might be able to escape conviction. Every case is unique, so if you are under investigation for an offense of this nature, an attorney's support could be invaluable. He or she can advise you about your options and may be able to help you with constructing your defense and preparing for your trial.

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