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Dynamics of a Michigan Theft Charge

A theft in Michigan happens when one person takes property from another when that person has no legal right or claim to that property. This person must have the intent to keep the property permanently.

In other words, a person is not borrowing the property. Borrowing is not stealing, because when a person borrows something, that person does not intend to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the possession of that property.

To best understand the dynamics associated with your Michigan theft charge, it is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable Michigan theft attorney can build a case to help defend against any sort of penalties you may be facing.

Types of Theft

A large portion of the Michigan criminal code is devoted to different kinds of theft crimes. There are dozens of theft charges to include many different circumstances, including:

  • Both armed and unarmed robbery
  • Safecracking
  • Bank robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Extortion
  • Retail fraud (or shoplifting)
  • Defrauding a vulnerable adult
  • Auto theft (which is often called unlawfully driving away in auto in Michigan)
  • Breaking and entering (which includes home invasion)
  • Possession of burglary tools
  • Receiving and concealing stolen property
  • Embezzlement
  • Check fraud
  • Credit card fraud

There are many different larceny charges, including larceny by conversion, larceny by trick, larceny from a motor vehicle, larceny from a person, larceny from a building, and larceny or theft of utility, products or services. To better understand the dynamics of a Michigan theft charge, it is important to consult with an attorney.

Burden of Proof

When a person is charged with a theft crime in Michigan, the prosecutor must first prove that they took someone else’s property. Next, they must prove that it was taken without the person’s consent, including that they did not authorize a person in any way to take the property.

Additionally, the prosecutor must prove that there has been some movement of the property. In other words, a person must take it and move it somewhere. It does not matter if they actually keep the property, or if it was simply removed from the premises.

Perhaps most importantly, a prosecutor must prove that the accused party had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

Benefit of an Attorney

All crimes, including theft crimes, are made up of parts called elements. An important part of a criminal defense lawyer’s job is to see if the prosecutor’s case is deficient as it relates to any of these elements and if the prosecutor has enough solid evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each one of the elements of the crime.

A defense lawyer is obligated to make sure that none of their client’s rights were violated, to make sure the client receives the full protection of the law, and pursue any means of defense that might apply.

An attorney works to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case using the laws and the rules of evidence against them. Too often, people are convicted when they should not be and may end up being sent to jail when a good legal defense could have helped. In cases where a conviction occurs, they can fight for more favorable sentencing for their client. A seasoned lawyer can help an individual best understand the various dynamics in their Michigan theft charge.