Evidence in an Ft. Lauderdale theft defense is essential to building a strong case. A criminal defense attorney will want to obtain evidence on anything that would benefit the defendant or negate the government’s allegations. There are two types of evidence an attorney should look for when building a case. The first type of evidence is any evidence that the individual can provide to dismiss the prosecution’s case. The other type of evidence is anything that could mitigate the charge, or that shows the defendant in a more favorable light. If an individual has been charged with theft, they should speak with a knowledgeable theft attorney that could fight for them.
Evidence That Dismisses the Prosecution’s Case
One type of evidence in an Ft. Lauderdale theft defense that can be helpful, is evidence that helps poke holes in the prosecution’s argument. In a theft-related case, this could include evidence that exonerates the defendant, such as the owner of the allegedly stolen property saying that the charge is a misunderstanding and it was not actually stolen. That is the type of evidence that an attorney would want to find immediately.
A theft lawyer might also want to speak to witnesses and ask if their account of events is similar to what the prosecution says occurred. For example, in a shoplifting case, if an individual is accused of concealing something before leaving the store and there is no surveillance or other evidence other than an undercover loss prevention officer in the store, there may be credible witnesses that tell a different story. Attorneys would talk to that individual, get that individual’s statement, and present that to the state attorney’s office in the hopes of the prosecutor not filing the charge based on that evidence.
Mitigating evidence is another type of evidence in an Ft. Lauderdale theft defense, that can build a person’s case. Mitigating evidence and factors include good deeds they have done in the community, any community service work, any awards, any special recognition, if they are active in their church or synagogue if there is any prior military service, etc. If the defendant has prior military service, there is a special court that deals with people who have served in the armed forces.
Mental Health Issues as Mitigating Evidence
If there are any mental health-related issues, any substance abuse related issues, those are the types of issues that courts would tend to take into account and put the defendant in a different position than they might otherwise be. Attorneys look for anything like that or any other mitigating factors when gathering evidence in an Ft. Lauderdale theft defense.
Value of Expert Witnesses
For theft cases, it could be valuable to work with experts who are knowledgeable about identification. A lot of times these cases start with a fingerprint check. For example, somebody goes through a pawnshop and are required to give their fingerprint. They run the fingerprint through a fingerprint database. A fingerprint expert can conduct their own analysis to see if there are any problems with the fingerprint match that may have misidentified the individual. Another common area for defense expert witnesses are handwriting experts, for example in bad check cases or document cases.
They can show that a signature is not what it is reported to be by the prosecution. The last area in which experts can be used is when contesting the valuation of allegedly stolen property. In a lot of theft cases, their levels are a function of the value of the property, which means someone has to put a value on the property and there could be disputes regarding a fair market value. A prosecutor’s witness might give a certain value to a particular piece of merchandise or property and the defense might have an expert say something completely different. That could be the difference between two levels of offense or a big difference in the amount of money that the person has to pay back, so experts regarding valuation are common.
Value of an Ft. Lauderdale Theft Defense Attorney
By law, the prosecutor and the judge cannot engage the defendant and learn about them. It is up to the defense attorney to take a lot of time learning about potential clients, getting to know them, and presenting that bigger picture to humanize the individual to the prosecutors and the judges.
The role of a theft defense attorney in Ft. Lauderdale is to paint a much different picture to the court and the prosecutor than just the police report that they have in front of them. Attorneys are supposed to gather evidence to paint a different picture and tell the entire story of the individual’s life. A skilled attorney could use evidence in an Ft. Lauderdale theft defense to present a complete image of a person and their circumstances while fighting for a positive outcome for them. Those who have been charged with theft should speak with a capable attorney that could advocate for them.