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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Hicks

Defenses in Theft Cases IC 35-43-4-5


When facing theft charges in the state of Indiana, it's crucial to understand the possible defenses at your disposal. Theft cases can be complex, and the right defense strategy can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. B. Hicks Law, a criminal defense law firm with extensive experience in Indiana's legal landscape, is here to guide you through the intricacies of theft-related offenses.


In this blog post, we'll focus on defenses available under Indiana's criminal code, specifically under IC 35-43-4-5. Familiarizing yourself with these defenses can help you make informed decisions if you're ever charged with theft.


IC 35-43-4-5: Defenses in Theft Cases

(a) Owner in Possession of Encumbered Property

One important defense outlined in IC 35-43-4-5 pertains to an owner in possession of encumbered property. According to this provision, if you're the owner of property encumbered by a security agreement, and you deal with that property contrary to the terms of the agreement, you may not be guilty of a theft crime. This holds true even if title to the property is with a credit institution under a mortgage, conditional sales contract, or bailment lease.

In essence, this defense recognizes the rights of property owners who may have financial agreements in place related to their property. The law acknowledges that such owners have a certain level of discretion in handling their property, even if it might seem like a violation of the security agreement.


(b) Inadequate Funds in a Credit Institution Account

Another important defense is related to financial transactions involving credit institutions. If you have an account with a credit institution but don't have sufficient funds in that account, and you issue a check, draft, or order for payment, you can use this defense if you pay the credit institution the amount due, along with protest fees, within ten days after receiving notice that the check, draft, or order has not been paid by the credit institution.

This defense recognizes that financial transactions can sometimes go awry due to insufficient funds. By rectifying the situation within the specified time frame, you can avoid theft charges.


(c) Transfer or Reproduction of Recorded Sounds

If you're involved in the transfer or reproduction of recorded sounds for broadcasting, telecasting, or archival purposes, you may not be guilty of a theft crime, even if you don't have the consent of the owner of the master recording. This provision acknowledges the importance of media preservation and broadcasting rights and provides a defense for those involved in these activities.


(d) Restoration of Stolen Property

If you receive, retain, or dispose of personal property that has been the subject of theft with the intent to restore it to the owner, you may not be committing a theft crime. This provision is important because it allows individuals to act in good faith to recover stolen property without being penalized under the law.


Trust B. Hicks Law for Your Defense

When facing theft charges in Indiana, it's essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. B. Hicks Law is a trusted law firm specializing in criminal defense in the state of Indiana. With our extensive knowledge of Indiana's legal statutes and our commitment to defending our clients vigorously, you can rely on us to provide the legal representation you need.


If you find yourself facing theft charges, don't hesitate to reach out to B. Hicks Law. We'll review the details of your case, assess the applicable defenses, and work diligently to protect your rights and build a robust defense strategy.

Remember, understanding the available defenses, such as those outlined in IC 35-43-4-5, is crucial in mounting a strong defense against theft charges in Indiana. With the right legal representation, you can navigate the legal system with confidence, knowing you have a skilled advocate on your side.

Contact B. Hicks Law today to discuss your case and explore your defense options. Your future is important, and we're here to help you protect it.

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