At times, for some odd reason or the others, individuals succumb to the pressures of the law for crimes that they have not committed. Fact of the matter is that there are many individuals that are charged with crimes dealing with theft of various amounts. If you are one of the many innocent individuals that got charged with theft under $5000, you can follow these steps to get you back on the road to recovery.
Generally, a prosecutor will base the charges of your alleged crime as a summary offense. However, there have been reports of prosecutors also pressing charges as indictable offenses and that is relatively difficult to get out of. Before you can move ahead, ask the prosecutor for proof of the charges made against you. He will be legally obliged to provide you with proof of documents that state the reasons for why you have been charged with theft. It is your responsibility to cross reference the documents provided with your attorney, you may also need to verify the witness's statements. For a judge to give you a statement of the alleged crime, the prosecutor will need to prove documents related to identity and jurisdiction of where the alleged crime has taken place. He will also need to prove that the theft amount is in fact under $5000, and provide the documents to support it. Hence, make sure that your attorney has the necessary proceedings ready to ask for the relevant proof.
One of the best steps that you can follow when you need to present yourself in a court of law is to get an attorney from a reputed law firm to present your case. If you choose to represent yourself, you will need to figure out the best approach for the situation. The most commonly sought after testimony in these cases is that of stating that you have paid for the property. You will need to show receipts and any supporting documents explaining how you legally purchased the property in front of the appointed judge. Another action that you can take up is stating that you believed that the property belonged to you and that you had a right to it. You will need to show sufficient data proving on what grounds you believed that the alleged theft has been wrongly accused. Alternatively, you can plead guilty by stating that the property was forgotten by ownership. This will not close the case but can reduce the charge. Finally, another tactic that many individuals use is by stating that they gained rights to the property in another manner. With this strategy, defendants will need to prove that the property was either gifted or granted to them.
Before the judge passes a verdict, they allow the individual to plead their case. Speaking here is necessary as it is the only chance one may have to explain the situation. If the explanation is found to be meaningful along with substantial evidence, the judge may or may not appoint a fine. The maximum fine that one can get when being charged with theft under $5000 is that of $2000. If substantial evidence is provided, one can avoid the surcharge fee.
What needs to be understood is that when it comes to legal matters, it has to be dealt with in a profoundly professional manner. While one may contemplate representing themselves for the case, it is always recommended that they get an attorney to help them out as these are matters that are taken up as criminal cases. Alternatively, it is best advised not to skip dates as it can add to the rap sheet.