Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Unfortunately, as you are finding out, a person can be charged with theft, also called larceny, under these facts. Theft and/or larceny are defined as the taking of another person's property without that persons permission. Even though the property in question would likely be considered lost, a person that walks away with it could face a charge of theft.
As to what you should do, it would be prudent to look into retaining an attorney. First, you should begin with your state bar association. The Connecticut State Bar has a website, it is located at www.ctbar.org.
I do not know your county of residence but your county bar association likely has a similar site that will be more specific to your location.
Additionally, Martindale Hubbell is a national organization that rates attorneys across the country. Their website is located at http://www.martindale.com/.
Another nationwide website is located at http://www.avvo.com/. This site lists attorneys by geographic location and area of practice.
Each of these resources will have a wealth of information as to attorneys in your area that handle such cases. I would suggest you check each site out and you will surely find a great number of attorneys that meet your needs. Pick a few to meet with in person so that you can thoroughly explain your situation and then retain the one that you feel can best represent your interests.
If money is an issue, you might qualify for a public defender. If you believe this is the case, simply go to your first court appearance and tell the judge you would like a public defender. The judge will ask a few questions about your financial situation and then make a determination as to whether you qualify.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
You will notice that I did not state you would, or should, be convicted of a crime, only that you could be charged with a crime. The facts of the case are part of the reason I suggested retaining an attorney as you have a very defensible case. With these facts, it would seem likely that the charge will ultimately be reduced or dismissed.
With a competent attorney working the case, I would suggest that you will likely obtain an outcome that is satisfactory to you.
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