Previously, this blog discussed how Pennsylvania law defines the criminal offense of theft. Knowing how the law defines these offenses is critical, as oftentimes the statutory language can give rise to criminal defense options. For example, with many kinds of theft, prosecutors must show some sort of intent before a conviction can be obtained. Proving one’s mental state at the time of an alleged crime can be difficult to prove, giving a defendant the opportunity to put forth evidence that contradicts the claims made by prosecutors.
One way to put on this evidence is to utilize witness accounts. Someone who was with the accused individual at the time of the alleged offense may be able to testify as to what was said and how the act was committed, thereby giving a clearer sense of what the accused individual was thinking at the time. Character witnesses may also help illustrate whether or not a defendant was known to act in ways that demonstrate a pattern of behavior that utilized similar malicious intent.
Another way to challenge the prosecution’s assertions that a defendant intended to commit a crime is to put forth evidence that contradicts what the prosecution has claimed is the defendant’s motive. Again, witness testimony can be beneficial, but so, too, can physical evidence. For example, if the prosecution tries to claim that theft occurred because the defendant was broke, then bank statements showing financial stability can poke holes in the prosecution’s case.
Putting forth this evidence takes legal know-how and skill. At Gusty AE Sunseri & Associates, our legal team knows how to anticipate the prosecution’s arguments and contradict them. We know how to craft compelling legal arguments, question witnesses and utilize the trial rules and rules of evidence to our clients’ advantage. In the end, we want to do everything we can to ensure our clients avoid the harsh penalties they could potentially face. We believe our track record of success is strong, and encourage those who want to learn more about our practice to peruse our website for more information.