Can I be sued for a crime I did not commit?

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Can I be sued for a crime I did not commit?

I’m a security guard at a bus facility in Hawaii and one of the employees there had his vehicle stolen. I was using the restroom and when I came out of the restroom I was informed of this news. Now I don’t know what time it got stolen. It could’ve been when I was in the restroom or wasn’t. The thing is, if it was stolen while I was in the guard

shack I wouldn’t be able to tell because I don’t know what faces belong to what vehicles. And while I’m at the guard shack I’m always keeping track on who comes in. No one came in. Either the person hopped the fence on the other side or came in through the gate when I wasn’t at the shack. And that employee is talking about pressing charges against me. Can he do that to me if it wasn’t my fault?

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Criminal Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

He can certainly go to the police and attempt to press charges, but unless there is some reasonable evidence or reason ("probable cause") to think that you participated in the crime (e.g. conspired with or assisted the criminal(s), such as by turning a blind eye to their actions or deliberately leaving your post), the authorities should decline to bring charges; and even if charges are initially brought, the bar is higher to convict--to convict you, there would have to be evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" showing that you in some way participated in or assisted with the crime.


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