If you have been charged with theft it may be the first time you have been involved in the criminal justice system.
Our Theft Solicitors will help you navigate police interviews, bail, and attending Court.
By instructing us, you will feel completely supported and confident that you have one of the most experienced, talented criminal law teams in Coventry and Warwickshire on your side.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with a streamlined, modern, and highly effective criminal defence. Furthermore, years of experience in criminal law means we have created relationships with some of the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses who can provide the Court with the facts required to support a not guilty plea or mitigate the sentence handed down by a Judge.
Advising and representing people accused of committing a criminal offence
We are highly recommended as an expert criminal defence law firm for people accused of committing a crime. We provide 24/7 police station representation. Therefore, will be at your side, protecting your interests from the start. Because we understand the correct procedure the police must follow when making an arrest, we will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding you being detained and get the charges dropped if proper processes were not complied with.
Our criminal law team has in-depth experience in defending serious criminal charges, including theft. We work with the country’s top expert witnesses and focus on providing you with advice and representation you can trust. We know that your reputation, your freedom, and your family’s financial security is at stake – therefore, we never give up until every appeal has been exhausted.
Below are several common questions clients ask us concerning theft.
What is theft?
Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, theft, robbery, and burglary are different offences.
Theft is where a person dishonestly takes property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. For instance, the act of shoplifting is depriving the store owner of items that, until they are sold, belong to them.
Robbery involves stealing someone’s property but with a degree of violence, i.e A threatens B with a knife and demands B hands over their wallet. Burglary involves entering a building as a trespasser with intent to steal, inflict grievous bodily harm or do unlawful damage to the building, or having entered the building as a trespasser stealing or attempting to steal or inflicting or attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm.
What are the defences to a charge of theft?
Section 2 of the Theft Act 1968 states that a person has not dishonestly taken another’s property if:
- They have a legal right to take the property; or
- The owner would agree to their taking it if they knew about it; or
- Although they took reasonable steps, they could not find the person to whom the property belongs.
The Prosecution must prove dishonesty, which is not always straightforward. In the civil case of Ivey v Genting Casinos  AC 391 the Supreme Court (the UK’s highest court) set out the test to be applied in determining whether the Defendant was dishonest:
“…the fact-finding tribunal must first ascertain (subjectively) the actual state of the individual’s knowledge or belief as to the facts. The reasonableness or otherwise of his belief is a matter of evidence (often in practice determinative) going to whether he held the belief, but it is not an additional requirement that his belief must be reasonable; the question is whether it is genuinely held. When once his actual state of mind as to knowledge or belief as to facts is established, the question of whether his conduct was honest or dishonest is to be determined by the fact-finder by applying the (objective) standards of ordinary decent people. There is no requirement that the defendant must appreciate that what he has done is, by those standards, dishonest.” The former President of the Queen’s Bench Division and retired Head of Criminal Justice, The Right Honourable Sir Brian Leveson, adopted the test in Ivey as the correct approach in DPP v Patterson  EWHC 2820 (Admin) a case which involved charges of theft and stated it would be highly unlikely that the Court of Appeal (the UK’s second-highest court) would diverge from the Supreme Court’s decision.
What is the sentence if I am convicted of theft?
Theft can be tried in the Crown Court and the Magistrates’ Court. The maximum penalty in the Crown Court is seven years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. If you are convicted in the Magistrates’ Court, you could receive up to six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
Low-value shoplifting is a summary offence only; therefore, the maximum custodial sentence is six months.
Why choose us?
Regardless of the charges against you, you are entitled to a criminal defence. We do not judge our clients; our only objective is to defend you against the Prosecution’s allegations. You can be confident that by instructing us to defend you, your chances of acquittal or a reduced sentence are greatly improved. The most important factor is to contact us as soon as you become aware of the criminal charges brought against you.
To receive expert advice and if you have been charged with theft, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Theft' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT