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Michigan Theft Defense Strategies

When building an effective Michigan theft defense strategy, an experienced attorney will review all the specific facts of the case. Because every case is different, every case will have its own, unique, theft defense strategy.

If you have been charged with theft and are seeking legal representation, it is pertinent to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A Michigan theft lawyer will be able to build a proper defense to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with the charge.

Building a Defense

If the crime is a theft that deals with the simple taking of property, then the value of the property in question becomes one of the most important elements. Sometimes, values can be distorted by the prosecutor. They could assign a value to a piece of property that is much higher than it really is, which can increase the seriousness of the offense. Having the property appraised or valued correctly can be an important part of building a Michigan theft defense strategy.

If there has been a case of breaking and entering, very often there will be fingerprint evidence. Part of an attorney’s Michigan theft defense strategy might include having fingerprint evidence reviewed by an expert to look at the procedures that were used in collecting it. If the evidence technician did not collect the fingerprints appropriately to determine who else may have had access to that area who also could have also left prints, the validity of that evidence might be questionable. Then, there is the whole issue of reliability and how the police determine that there is a match. Very often, the methods used to create a match are also flawed.

If there was any kind of search and seizure that took place in collecting the evidence, an attorney can make sure that the warrants were properly executed, and that the police went through all of the appropriate channels to get the warrant and that it was supported by probable cause.

Gathering Evidence

The evidence a defense attorney will want to obtain depends on the case and exactly what the charges are. Once a criminal lawyer has collected this information, they might prepare a summary and report detailing what the evidence does and does not show, and also detailing their approach to the defense of an individual’s case.

In many cases, the first thing that an attorney will want to obtain is a statement from the client, including their background and criminal history. They will want to make sure they have all the information they need to understand who that person is, and get their side of the story.  The background information is also relevant for bond, the conditions of bond, and for the sentencing if and when their case gets to that point.

After an individual’s attorney has received this information from the person involved, the attorney will turn to the police and the prosecutor to find out what evidence they have by making discovery demands and requests. If it is appropriate to further investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, an individual’s lawyer may want to hire an investigator or even one or more expert witnesses to assist them with collection of other evidence they might use as part of their client’s Michigan theft defense strategy, and to more thoroughly evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence.

Role of Expert Witnesses

Experts are not used heavily for theft crimes, but they can prove helpful with things like determining fair market value. Depending on the type of property that was alleged to have been stolen, it may be something that requires a professional appraisal.

Expert witnesses can help evaluate any scientific or technical evidence that the prosecutor may have, including things like fingerprints in the case of burglary. In cases where a weapon has been discharged, a criminal attorney may want to hire a weapons expert to examine the evidence.

Benefit of an Attorney

Because details win cases, it is important that attorneys thoroughly interview clients to make sure they understand exactly what happened and to collect their side of the events that took place.

A skilled lawyer will obtain and carefully review all the documents the police have, including any narrative reports that were prepared by the police officers themselves or any witness statements that were made. They may also examine the property to make sure that its fair market value was properly assessed.

If any police procedures were used, like searches and seizures, an attorney can make sure that those were conducted appropriately. Lawyers take these steps to determine whether the prosecutor can lawfully and appropriately prove beyond a reasonable doubt all the different elements of the case in question. Such elements can be used when crafting a Michigan theft defense strategy.