A theft crime is one of the most common criminal offenses in the United States and the world at large. The reasons why these crimes are so prevalent is quite varied, ranging from socioeconomic status all the way to ignorance. However, regardless of the factors that lead to a theft crime, there is no denying that it causes a great deal of emotional and financial distress for those victimized by such an offense. It can also be very difficult for offenders who face criminal charges and punishments as well.
The first step is the most important one: do not panic! Many people who are charged with committing theft crimes let their emotions get the better of them, which leads to rash decisions that hurt their cases more than help them. When an individual is suspected, accused, or formally charged with committing a theft crime, it can be easy for feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety to run rampant. This is understandable but unhelpful as these negative emotions can lead an offender’s character or mental state to be seen in an unfavorable light. If someone is feeling any level of distress immediately following an arrest, they should find somewhere safe (i.e., not the police station) to relax and collect themselves. This might be their home, a friend or family member’s house, or another place that makes them feel calm. Once they are more in control of their emotions, they can proceed with the next step.
Write Down Everything
Once someone has had time to relax, they should write down every relevant detail regarding the crime in question. Try to recall where people were located, what objects were used (if any), what happened throughout the incident (both leading up to it and during its execution), who else was present, and so forth. If there is a specific point of memory loss, take note of this as well because it could be very important later on in court proceedings when determining culpability for the crime. If it is available, having a video recording of what took place can help tremendously because it gives an objective visual account of the crime that does not rely on witness testimony or memory recall.
Seek Legal Counsel
Once someone has documented everything relevant about their experience with a theft crime, they should seek legal counsel if they have not already done so. An attorney will be able to provide further guidance regarding the situation and help by building a defense for their client based on the facts of the case. This may involve challenging some assumptions made by law enforcement officials during the investigation, questioning evidence collection procedures (including how things were handled/packaged), and reviewing witness statements to determine whether they are accurate depictions of what transpired or just people’s opinions/assumptions.
Finally, even though it may seem like a contradiction at first glance, this last step is extremely important as well: do not give any self-incriminatory statements to anyone without first consulting with legal counsel. If someone is already in custody, they should immediately ask for an attorney and cease all conversations until one arrives on the scene (including anything that occurs within earshot of others). Even if someone’s guilt seems patently obvious, there are many ways to fight accusations and reduce punishment, so it is never advisable to speak about the specifics of a crime before consulting with a defense attorney. It might feel awkward or uncomfortable, but it could potentially save an individual from spending years behind bars.
These four steps provide a general overview of what to do after an individual has been charged with a theft crime. Every situation is unique and will require different actions so it is always best to consult with an experienced legal professional to get specific advice for one’s own case. However, following these guidelines will put anyone in a better position to navigate the criminal justice system and hopefully achieve a favorable outcome.