Theft from Shop, Shoplifting, Theft by finding, Theft from employer, Abuse of Trust, Financial Abuse
Theft is a very common and very broad dishonesty offence. If you are accused of theft, the police or prosecution need to prove that you have:
- Taken property
- Belonging to someone else, and
- Intended that the proper owner will not get it back
This can include stealing groceries from a shop, or taking cash from the till at your workplace. Even if the value of the property is relatively low, the Courts will treat any alleged theft very seriously because it can undermine the profitability of businesses, or show a breach of the trust placed in you by your employer. Theft can also include much more complex and serious allegations though, such as financial abuse where a family member is accused of manipulating a vulnerable relative to obtain money or other property from them.
Theft is an either way offence, which means that it can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. Unless the value of the stolen property is particularly high or there is another serious element to the case, it is common for the Magistrates to agree to deal with the case. This does not take away your right to elect for jury trial in the Crown Court though.
Allegations of theft can damage your career, with some employers sacking people for gross misconduct, even if the offence has not been proved. Finding employment is then much harder if you have to disclose that you have a conviction for theft. Because a conviction for theft can have such a long-lasting effect on your life, it is very important that you have solid legal advice from a solicitor who understands how much you stand to lose and will do everything they can to support your case.
The solicitors at Stephen Lickrish & Associates have dealt with many theft cases, ranging from simple shoplifting through to high value financial abuse allegations. We can represent clients in Greater Manchester and the North West, as well as throughout the country. If you, or someone you know, are accused of this offence, contact us to see how we can help you.