Can you get arrested for stealing a gun without any proof against you?

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Can you get arrested for stealing a gun without any proof against you?

I was at a friends house. It was me, him and his mom. There gun went missing i let her check me and my car but they are still saying that I stole it. She called the law after I left and they are trying to take me to jail but there is no proof that took it (I did not). She is accusing me of taking it because I have a record. Can they take me to jail?

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Arresting someone requires probable cause for arrest;  the standard of proof or evidence is lower than that required later, for a conviction. From what you write, they may have enough for this purpose: e.g. a gun is in a house; there are only three people in the house; the gun goes missing; two of the three people testify that they did not take it and that the gun had been there before the third person came; ergo, the third person must have taken it. That could pass the threshold required for an arrest, though it may not be sufficient for a conviction, where the standard of proof is that it must be


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