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How Proper Storytelling in the Courtroom Can Benefit your Theft Charge

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

January 15, 2020

People who face theft charges are often worried about the evidence against them and the nature of their case. They focus on the basic tenets of their case and the specifics of the law. Some people are particularly interested in fighting witness testimony or the actions of police officers. But all of these actions need to be subsumed by a good story. Storytelling skills can help a person secure a favorable opinion from a jury and the most inconsequential punishment possible.

Reasonable Doubt

The essence of avoiding any theft charge is the implementation of reasonable doubt in a jury. Jurors do not have to believe that a person is completely innocent of a particular crime. They only have to have a reasonable doubt that the crime was committed. In order to plant the seeds of reasonable doubt, proper storytelling is a critical technique. People tend to believe stories that make sense better than stories that do not.

A faulty story from a defense attorney can cause most people to believe the story laid out by the prosecution. Prosecutors often have the weight of the state and of the state’s vast resources behind their stories. They will have more time to build a case and will often have a considerable amount of evidence. Defense attorneys and defendants can only defeat this myriad of biases by providing a clear story that diminishes the logic of their case.

The Nature of Evidence

Evidence is nothing on its own. It is simply a collection of items and perhaps testimony or photographs. Proper storytelling can help modify the ideas and signifiers behind a piece of evidence. It can be critical to neutralizing evidence that the prosecution may have been able to use against the defense. The defense needs to have a plausible story behind every piece of evidence introduced or used by the defense. They need to clearly discuss the reasons why stolen materials may have ended up in a person’s possession. Only one piece of evidence can convince a jury of a person’s eventual guilt or innocence. Defense attorneys and defendants need to be aware of the power of evidence and refute that evidence clearly.

The Importance of Sentencing

Not all theft charges are created equally. In some instances, the evidence for a crime is so great that no amount of storytelling will allow an individual to avoid the charge. In those cases, an individual still needs to craft a good story. This story may involve the reasons for their crime or the reasons for feeling remorse about that crime. A person can extend their narrative both before and after they committed the crime.

They can detail their upbringing or simply focus on the moments before they commit the crime. The goal here is to secure the lightest sentence possible from a jury or judge. In some instances, being found guilty of a crime is an essential part of a trial process. A person may be able to avoid jail time in one of these instances. They may secure a release program or an intervention where they can avoid any sort of punishment by taking classes or performing community service.

A sympathetic judge responding to a good story may declare that a person has already met their obligations with pre-trial time served in jail or conducting community service. There is also the chance that a person can secure the least serious charge possible for their offense. In that case, a convict may have a better chance of having their criminal record expunged. This action can greatly improve a person’s job prospects and reduce the trouble that a theft charge may cause.


Proper storytelling can be essential for any defense case. It is not a practice that requires extensive talent or training. Rather, it requires a considerable amount of research and preparation. A person has to be honest about their actions and goals, as well as the nature of the case. They also need to work with an experienced attorney, such as the team at Hager & Schwartz.

The smallest mistake can render a truthful story completely useless for avoiding any theft charge. Call our team today (386) 693-1637 to learn more about how we can help.