When you are charged with theft, there are specific elements that have to be present in the case. One of these elements is your intent. In order to be charged with theft, you have to have the intent to deprive the owner of the property from being able to use or possess the property. This means that you can’t unintentionally steal something.
One question that is sometimes raised is that of whether a person can be charged with theft if they simply forget to return a borrowed item. In the majority of these cases, the answer would be that no theft occurred so charges wouldn’t be likely.
The intent of a person who is charged with theft is something that the prosecution would have to prove. While this might be easy in some cases, such as if you are found to be taking things without permission and heading to the pawn shop to sell those items. It might not be as easy if the item is something that a friend owned and you claimed he or she let you borrow.
Theft cases often depend heavily on the circumstances around the event. It can be difficult for the prosecution to meet the burden of proof. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible, so you need to make sure that you can present a defense that shows what you claim happened.
Understanding the burden of proof that is placed on the prosecution and looking at the case they are using against you might help you to find a good starting point for your defense in Maryland.
Source: FindLaw, “Can I Be Accused of Stealing Something I Borrowed If I Forget to Return It?,” accessed Oct. 07, 2016