Sometimes, Morris County residents happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the police are on the lookout for a suspect in an alleged robbery or burglary case, they will naturally start looking in the immediate vicinity first. Anyone in the vicinity whom they happen to consider “suspicious” may end up facing theft charges.
Recently, a burglar alarm at a home in Morris County brought police to the neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours. There, they claim to have noticed a vehicle they thought was suspicious driving around, and made a traffic stop. The driver jumped out and ran. There were two other passengers in the car, a man in his early twenties and a juvenile.
Police detained the two and conducted a search of the vehicle, where they allegedly found items reported as having been stolen in recent area burglaries. They also reportedly found multiple forms of identification and other official documents that did not belong to the passengers. The two passengers who did not try to run now face charges including theft of property and burglary of a vehicle — both misdemeanors — as well as a felony count of theft of a firearm.
Fortunately for Morris County defendants facing property crime charges like these, there are a number of tactics they may be able to pursue in court. Particular in the case of burglary, the prosecution must prove that a defendant broke into the location with the intent to commit a crime. If a defendant can provide an alibi, they stand a strong chance at avoiding a theft charge conviction.
Juveniles in particular may also be able to argue that they were convinced or coerced into the act, and therefore lack the intent necessary to convict them of burglary. A legal professional can help review the allegations and discuss the best criminal defense strategy.