Can I get out of this criminal damage to property?

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Can I get out of this criminal damage to property?

I bought a former gf a tv and washer and drier thinking we were someday going to get married. We broke up, I got angry and broke the items. She has no proof that I gave them to her except they were in her house. I have receipts. If I go about pleading not guilty will I get out of this? I am undecided what to do. If I plead guilty I have all this stuff on my record and me and her stay friends basically. If I plead not guilty I will probably lose her. What do you think?

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You really need to have a criminal lawyer in your area review all the facts.  Including the embarrassing ones, especially the embarrassing ones.  That will give you a true understanding of your options, and what is likely to happen if you plead not guilty, as far as the trial goes, and whether or not pleading guilty makes sense.  One place to look for counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

While I'm not a Wisconsin attorney, the law of gifts, in most states, doesn't require anything in writing, it depends on all the facts.  Here, you put three large appliances, not the sort of thing you carry around, in her home.  That looks like you've given her complete control of them, and that's all that's really needed for a gift.  You can't un-gift it afterward, the appliances became her property.

Whether having this on your record is worth the woman's friendship -- that's just not a legal question, that's a very personal one.


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