Get in touch with a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney as soon as you are aware that you are being suspected or charged with some degree of theft. Whether you have received a phone call from a police officer or you have been arrested and released on a theft charge, your next step should be to contact an experienced auto theft attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can look at the facts of your case and build a West Palm Beach auto theft defense specific to you and the charges you face, in the pursuit of a positive outcome.
Potential Auto Theft Defense Strategies
The strategies that a lawyer would use in preparing a West Palm Beach auto theft defense depend on the facts and circumstances of the individual case, just as a person presents to the doctor with a certain set of symptoms that determine the course of their treatment.
An auto theft lawyer will determine all the available facts and look at the circumstances surrounding those facts. For example, those facts might not be legally permissible to be brought in front of a jury. Also, the defense attorney will try to determine facts that will undermine or contradict the government’s facts.
The defense might be an alibi defense, or a misidentification of the accused based on incorrect DNA evidence, fingerprint evidence, or description evidence. The defense might also work to discredit witnesses. A good defense depends on the circumstances surrounding the allegations.
Preparing a Defense for Auto Theft Charges
The preparation for an auto theft charge is similar to the preparation needed for other theft offenses. There is not a specific statute for grand auto theft . The attorney presents evidence to combat the claims related to the veracity of the witnesses, the credibility of the evidence, the value of the property stole, etc. For example, the attorney might present evidence showing the value of the object taken is less than the prosecution has stated. These strategies are similar to any type of theft case, not just grand theft auto.
Reduced Sentencing Options
The best possible outcome would be to get the charge dismissed. If the charge will not go away, then the attorney wants to minimize the consequences for the defendant. If the person is charged with taking a $80,000 Mercedes Benz, for example, perhaps the attorney can negotiate the punishment from a 15-year second degree maximum punishment to a five-year sentence. Additionally, an attorney will want to help the accused avoid being convicted of a charge, since a felony conviction is a permanent mark on a person’s record.
Living with a conviction makes it more difficult to get a job, so a person wants to avoid the conviction. Punishment can run from as little as probation to as much as the maximum in prison, so the attorney wants to help minimize the conviction. The least possible sentence with no conviction would be probation.
Probation means the person has to report to a probation officer and pay a monthly fee for the privilege of reporting. Additionally, the person must abide by all the rules of probation, which often include avoiding intoxicants, being subject to random drug testing, and remaining gainfully employed. The person cannot leave the state or the county without permission from their probation officer.
Other special conditions of probations are case specific. The person may have to do some community service, some educational work, and/or go with substance abuse evaluation or treatment. Some people on probation must also undergo psychological evaluation and treatment. If the defense is unable to negotiate a probation sentence with no conviction, the next step would be jail. A person cannot go to jail for more than 364 days, so a longer period than that would mean prison.
When to Contact an Attorney
Auto theft is a serious crime with even more serious consequences which is why it is imperative that you get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. It will be the theft lawyer’s job to maintain the case, contain the damage, and make sure that you are aware of your rights during the arrest process. An attorney can help ensure that law enforcement treats you correctly. The sooner you call, the sooner a lawyer can start assessing your West Palm Beach auto theft defense.