What can we do if my wife was accused of theft from her workplace?

She was told she was suspended for 3 days for an investigation, so she promptly quit and walked out. The store manager said that he is going to call the local police and file a report. There are no surveillance cameras actually installed.

Asked on July 18, 2014 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

Maury Beaulier / MinnesotaLawyers.com

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

She should make NO STATEMENTS to police or others.  She should immedately contact a criminal defense attorney. 

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your wife needs to hire an experienced criminal attorney ASAP. At a minimum, she is facing Petit Larceny charge, a class A misdemeanor which if convicted cannot be erased or expunged and is punishable up to one year in jail.  Worse still, if the employer alleges that the amount taken was over $1000 then she faces potential felony Grand Laeceny charges and 4 years in jail or more depending on the amount.

The good news is that she is presumed innocent and the State has the burden of proving her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which they may not be able to do. I caution you though that I can think of a number of ways that the prosecutor can prove your wife's guilt even in the absence of surveillance video.   Retaining an experienced lawyer during the investigative phase (pre-arrest) will insure that your wife's rights are protected and that she doesn't do anything to help them build a case against her.  It is my experience that detectives will think twice about arresting and prosecuting a case with weak evidence or probable cause if they know there is a strong defense attorney in place. 

 

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You don't give many details of her siuation. However, you have given enough for me to advise you that your wife should contact a criminal defense attorney regarding all of  this. And she should do do sooner, rather than later. Possibly they can assist in sorting all of this out before a criminal complaint is filed and charges brought. If not, they can certainly be of help once court proceedings commence. The fact that there were no surveillance cameras is not an automatic defense for your wife; convictions are obtained all the time without them. Again, she sould seek legal counsel.


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