What constitutes Theft?

As defined by Section1 of the Theft Act 1968 theft is the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive the other of it. There are numerous offences which are categorised as "dishonesty offences" these include:

• Theft from a person or shop
• Theft by finding
• All types of fraud
• All types of deception
• Robbery
• Commercial or dwelling house burglary
• The handling of stolen goods
• Being in possession of criminal property
• Money Laundering
• Blackmail
• Making off without payment (Bilking)
• Theft of or from a motor vehicle
• Taking a motor vehicle without consent
• Motor vehicle interference
• Assisting in the retention of stolen goods

Theft can be heard in either the magistrates' court or the crown court. A case is likely to be referred to the crown court if the value of the goods stolen is high.

What will the Crown Prosecution Service consider when deciding to charge someone with an Offensive Weapons Offence?

For one to be found guilty of theft, the prosecution must illustrate that he is guilty of the five key elements below:

• Appropriation;
• Of property;
• Belonging to another;
• Dishonestly;
• With intention to permanently deprive.

If any of these points cannot be proven then the case is likely to be dropped and the individual acquitted.

How can a Solicitor Assist?

If you have been accused of theft you should seek advice from a specialist solicitor as soon as possible. An expert legal representative can advise you on the best lines of defence in your specific case.The team at ULA Solicitors can represent you at the police station or in court. We are dedicated to providing clear and tailored advice in order to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome. We are here to help, no matter how minor or major the accusation of theft might be. Get in touch for expert advice and assistance.


As with other criminal law matters the government provides funding by way of legal aid. This is the same in the instance where the individual is charged in relation to a theft offence. Again, the individual would have to qualify for legal aid on two grounds. Firstly, their disposable income must be below a certain amount; secondly, it must be in the interests of justice that they be represented. With such offences, as they carry lengthy custodial sentences the individual would most definitely satisfy the latter criterion.

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