Intent: The thin line between borrowing and theft

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2017 | Criminal Defense, Firm News |

Misunderstandings can often lead to unnecessary complications. What you may view as a simple mistake could cause other individuals a great deal of upset. If a person feels that you have slighted him or her in some way, you may find yourself in a predicament that proves difficult to get out of. In fact, you could potentially even face legal problems if the misunderstanding is great enough.

One way in which such a situation could arise relates to the possible relationship between borrowing and theft. You may have borrowed an item from a person, but over time, you may have forgotten to return it. The person to whom the item belongs may begin to believe that you stole the item and attempt to have charges brought against you.


In order for a crime to have been committed, you would have to have the intention of carrying out said crime. Therefore, if you took an item from an individual with the intention of bringing it back and simply forgot to do so, the case that you stole the piece of property may prove considerably weak. Though different types of intent exist, specific intent to commit the crime of permanently taking an item from another person must have applied to your alleged theft.


If you do end up facing theft charges for what you believe is a simple misunderstanding, it may help you to understand that the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence such as witness statements claiming to have overheard remarks made by you indicating that you had never intended to return the item, or other examples of malicious intent, could act as proof against you. Luckily for you, prosecutors may have a difficult time actually proving intent in such cases.

Of course, when it comes to facing criminal charges of any type, having a strong defense can help bolster your case against claims made by the prosecution. Having a reasonable argument as to why you did not return the item you borrowed could cast enough understanding on your true intentions.

Nonetheless, having allegations brought against you can seem frightening and overwhelming, and even though you know you did nothing wrong, you may still wish to gain assistance in building your defense. An experienced Florida attorney could help you understand your options and the proceedings ahead as well as help you vie for your innocence.

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