Indiana takes theft and shoplifting seriously, which is why the consequences for such an act can be so significant. Depending on the value of the item, an individual could face up to six years in prison and pay fines of up to 10,000 dollars.
Individuals charged with theft or shoplifting may assume there is little to be said in way of defense strategies, but that would be incorrect. There are a few defenses that an individuals may be able to use, depending on his or her situation.
One of the ways that shoplifting and theft is defined is that someone had the intent to take something that did not belong to them. If one can prove that they had no intent to take the property, then one may have a successful defense. For example, if an individual accidentally forgot to pay but attempted to return the item when they discovered what they had done.
Unlike the lack of intent defense, the necessity defense requires the accused individual to state that they in fact did have the intent to take the item, but it was necessary to do so. For example, if an individual believed that they had no alternative than to take the item, they may be able to paint a plausible picture of defense.
Making sure one has good legal aid when facing theft charges is essential, as many cases have strong evidence against the accused. However, an individual may be able to use one of the above defenses to aid in their case.