Can I be convicted of a theft charge if there is no witness?

Also, nothing was found. The only cause for suspicion is the sworn statement of someone saying that I had access to take things, even though others did as well. Additionally, the property had been broken into just a few months ago prior to this.

Asked on September 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, in a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is a very high standard of proof in order to obtain a conviction.  Based on what you have stated, it would appear that the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has not been met.

With regard to your question about whether theft requires a witness, it depends on what the specific theft charge is in your case.  The specific charge will have various elements that have to be satisfied in order to be liable for the offense.  For example, something could be stolen without any witness being present at the time, but there could still be evidence linking an individual to the theft. 


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