What to do if I’m being charged with burglary and theft for $2000-$5000 and the case is going to preliminary next week?

The only thing the prosecution has is 2 people who claim I told them I stole the items and pawned them at a pawn shop. There’s no physical evidence; no fingerprints in the home in question, no eyewitnesses, no stolen goods in my possession, no records of me pawning anything because I didn’t. It’s a vendetta against me by this couple. The days that I allegedly told them this I had no contact with them whatsoever and was with my girlfriend and her parents staying at their place during the times listed. Do they have a case at all?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they have a case--that doesn't mean automatically that the prosecution will win, but do not underestimate the risk you face. There is NO requirement for any physical or documentary evidence: people can be convicted solely based on witness testimony. The issue will be, will the witnesses against you be more credible (believable) then the witnesses for you (such as your girlfriend and parents)? It is very possible they will be: while you say that the witnessess against you have a "vendetta" against you, it is very likely that a jury will think that your girlfriend and her parents would lie for you, to spare you from jail time--they clearly have a bias in your favor.

Retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you: that will do more to help you stay out of jail than anything you, as a non-lawyer, can do for yourself.

Also, if you were at your girlfriend's parents place during the days the theft supposedly occured, do you have have any evidence other than their testimony? For example, if you charged anything in their area, get a record of the charge; if you took at money at ATMs, get records of the transaction; if you went to restaurants, get receipts; etc. You want evidence to back up the testimony that you were elsewhere.


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