When disputes arise about property, they can quickly become heated. Perhaps you took too long to return something, perhaps it went missing and you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are any number of ways you could be falsely accused of larceny. The important thing is what you decide to do about it.
The prospect of a criminal investigation can seem quite harrowing, but by remaining calm and considering the accusations carefully, you may find you are in a stronger position than you first thought. As is explained more thoroughly on FindLaw, prosecutors need to prove each and every element of the alleged crime beyond all reasonable doubt. This leaves you with a lot of room to counter their accusations.
You may be able to invalidate an allegation of larceny in the following ways:
- If you can show that you both intended and were able to return the supposedly stolen property.
- If you can show that you had an honest belief that the property was yours or that you had the right to use it.
- If you were forced or induced to take something that you would not have otherwise.
- If you were given permission by the owner to take the property.
Whatever the case, there are several options available to you. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to form a coherent defense while you are subject to the stresses of a criminal investigation. An attorney may be able to help you sort through the facts and ensure that your side of the story is heard. With his or her guidance, you can increase your chances of avoiding conviction and protecting your reputation.
Source: FindLaw, "Larceny Defenses"