how to i prove my innocence from being falsely accused of theft

I was in a store today. They claim that they have me on camera stealing from the store. I didn’t steal anything. The items that they claim I took, I had put back down before I ever walked out of the store. I left the store, went to another store, left there and walked to my car and went home. I was later contacted by the police by my cellphone number because they had my car on camera and I had my school’s parking pass on the back of my car. I work in retail and I would never steal anything ever.

Asked on January 7, 2018 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Subpoena, or formally request, the alleged surveillance tapes: if they exist, they will be the only evidence other than simple testimony--i.e. your word vs. theirs. Either they will help you or, if they don't, you need to see them ahead of time so you can decide how to address them and what to do. Contact the court and ask for the process to do this...or better yet, hire a lawyer to represent you; the attorney will know court rules and processes.
If the tapes tend to support you stealing, even if you claim you later, off camera, put the items down, you will likely be convicted; courts tend to find videographic and photographic evidence compelling. You may wish in that case to strongly consider trying to settle the matter by negotiating a favorable plea bargain. Again, an attorney would be very helpful in this regard.


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