Being accused of theft is something very serious. When the incident occurred because of misunderstanding, it is even more difficult to deal with. This is what might happen if you borrow something and then don’t remember to return it.

There are a few misconceptions about this that you might have to work through before you determine how to handle the situation. One of these is that there has to be proof that you intended to deprive the owner of the item from having it. Without this intent, the case wouldn’t meet the requirements for a theft case.

Another thing to think about is the burden of proof. It isn’t up to you to prove your case. Instead, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed an act that is a crime under the law. This can be difficult in the case of you borrowing something and failing to return it.

It is always a good idea to see how something might seem before you do it. For example, if you picked up an item from a friend’s yard while he or she was out of town, you would need to return it when they return. There is a chance that they will realize it is missing and file a police report. You would then have to contend with that when you do return the item.

Reviewing the options you have for a defense can help you to determine how you will answer the charges. Make sure that you think about each option as it pertains to your case so you can make an informed decision.

Source: FindLaw, “Can I Be Accused of Stealing Something I Borrowed If I Forget to Return It?,” accessed Nov. 09, 2017