The Law Office of Purav Bhatt has successfully fought for dismissals on hundreds of theft cases. Many of my clients tell me that they did not “intend” to steal the item and it was an “accident”. The State’s attorney must prove that the accused left the store and had the specific intent to take the item. If the judge or jury believes that your actions were “accidental” then your chances of being found not guilty are strong. On certain occasions, The Law Office of Purav Bhatt has convinced the State’s attorney to dismiss the charges after our defense has been presented to them prior to the trial.
However, it is not enough of a defense to say it was “an accident”. The evidence in your case must support your defense. If you were with your baby and the baby was in a stroller and you inadvertently placed an item in the top of the stroller and you purchased many other items but did not pay for this one item, you can argue that it was an “accident” as to that one item, in that you were distracted from having to tend to your baby.
Another example of a successful “accidental taking” in a theft case, is when a person enters a store to shop and while shopping with a shopping cart receives a cell phone call and they cannot get reception within the store and so they temporarily wheel the shopping cart outside of the store while speaking on the phone to complete the phone call and they are stopped by security as they are speaking on the phone. We have been successful in these cases to argue that our client did not intend to steal the item but only left the store to be able to complete the phone call and was planning to return to the store to continue to shop and pay for the items in the shopping cart.
It is important to remember that no person can have brain surgery done on them to “really know” for sure what was in their mind when they left the store with the merchandise. This is why security personnel and law enforcement are trained to do all they can to have the person arrested admit that they intended to steal when they are being questioned. If the police obtain such an admission then it makes it very difficult for the client to prevail.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for theft, retail theft, shoplifting, fraud or organized retail crime it is important to protect yourself and your future. Purav Bhatt is a criminal defense attorneypracticing in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. His office is located in Lincolnwood near many Chicago, Skokie and Rolling Meadows courthouses.
Please contact Mr. Bhatt at 773-791-9682 if you would like to discuss your theft, retail theft,shoplifting, fraud or organized retail crime matter.
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