Posted By OKABE & HAUSHALTER 28-Dec-2017
Like DUI arrests of alcohol-impaired drivers, theft arrests rise sharply during the holidays. And there are several factors that contribute to the growing rates of theft on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
And it makes perfect sense, our Los Angeles theft crime attorneys say. People are more likely to become victims of theft during the holidays due to:
- increased alcohol consumption that leads to poor decisions
- many stores closed for the holidays, attracting thieves to steal products
- financial burden associated with the holiday season and spending money on gifts (people want to get their hands on high-priced Christmas gifts at all costs)
- many homes are empty as family members choose to spend the holidays at their relatives’ homes.
Getting arrested for theft during holidays is more likely than you thought
Family gatherings, flickering Christmas lights, carol of the bells playing on repeat… Everyone is guilty of letting their guard down and not protecting their property properly.
And police officers are aware of that. The holidays mark a sharp increase in theft on the streets of Los Angeles, so LAPD officers tend to get overly suspicious.
Fact: an estimated over 23 million Americans fall prey to package theft every year (packages may include high-value Christmas gifts such as cellphones, tablets, laptops, etc.)
Needless to say, there’s an increased risk of getting arrested for theft even if you didn’t do anything wrong and were minding your business. Obviously, no one would want to spend the holidays behind bars.
So how to avoid being charged during the holidays in Los Angeles? This is the question we asked our Los Angeles theft crime attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter.
What’s the best criminal defense in a theft case?
Under state criminal laws in California, there are several legal defenses that may help you avoid being charged for theft after an arrest during the holidays.
If you were falsely arrested for the theft you didn’t commit, hiring a theft crime lawyer is your best line of defense to avoid wrongful conviction.
However, if you did take property of another party without permission, our lawyers outline three strategies of legal defense that may apply in your theft case:
- Claim of right or ownership of property
- Return of property as a defense.
If you’re being accused of stealing someone else’s property, you may be able to prove that you thought you had a valid claim to it. If your attorney chooses this strategy, you – as a defendant – will need to provide evidence supporting your claim.
Note: this legal defense may not work in cases where you clearly understood that the property wasn’t yours (a break-in in an empty house during the holidays, etc.).
In other cases, you may be able to avoid being charged by proving that you were intoxicated at the time of theft. Our Los Angeles theft crime lawyers at Okabe & Haushalter explain that you may have a strong intoxication defense case if you (1) consumed alcohol, chemicals or drugs prior to the incident, and (2) can prove that your intoxication made you believe that the stolen item belonged to you.
Note: the intoxication defense may apply if you can provide proof that you mistakenly took someone else’s property while being inebriated and having no intention to steal.
Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, you may be able to return the allegedly stolen property to reduce the penalties and avoid being charged for theft.
However, an attempt to return property as a defense may be unsuccessful if you aren’t legally represented by an experienced theft crime attorney, who would help you build a strong defense case and work out a plea deal.
Here at Okabe & Haushalter, we have some of the best and most sympathetic criminal defense lawyers who will get out of jail and custody, and reduce the penalties by exercising all possible legal options.
Consult our attorneys to find out your best course of action to avoid being charged for theft and other crimes. Call at (818) 722-3452 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation. We respect your right to confidentiality.
Category: Theft Crimes