Strategies That Can Help You Get a Grand Theft Charge Knocked Down

If you've been charged with grand theft and are conferring with your criminal law attorney to decide how to proceed, one option might be to get the charge reduced to simple theft. At first, this idea might not seem as appealing as getting the charge dismissed altogether, but if there's indisputable evidence that you stole something, your attorney may decide that your best option is to aim for a simple theft charge. Grand theft means that the item you stole was valued above a certain amount, which can differ by state. Here are some ways to argue this charge.

Get Experts

Regardless of the nature of the item that you're charged with stealing, it's almost certain that you and your defense attorney can recruit experts to discuss how the item isn't worth what the police say it is. For example, if the police have stated that the item's value makes your case qualify for grand theft instead of theft, one or more experts can state how the condition of the event, current market trends, or other data mean that the authorities are incorrect in their assessment. As such, your attorney may be successful in getting the charge knocked down to a charge of theft.

Provide Documentation

Another way to argue the value of the item in question is to provide documentation. Many things have price guides associated with them. For example, there are many publications that outline the market value for antique coins. If you're charged with stealing a set of coins and the authorities automatically charge you with grand theft because of a belief that the coin collection must possess a high value, documentation in the form of price guide publications may be effective for proving otherwise. This is especially true if your attorney presents this documentation in cooperation with expert testimony.

Discuss the Condition

Even if you struggle to get experts involved and product-specific documentation, you may still have success with arguing about the condition of the item in question. Generally, things that are in less-than-pristine condition are worth less. However, the authorities may have charged you with grand theft based on the price of the item in perfect condition—even if the item isn't in like-new shape. Your criminal defense attorney will build your case around this argument with the hope of getting the grand theft charge reduced to a theft charge, which carries less serious legal consequences.