Can an employer file theft charges againstan employeewithout direct evidence?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2011

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Can an employer file theft charges againstan employeewithout direct evidence?

I managed a store for a big company. I was not doing good job at managing the inventory then found out that a large amount of inventory was missing. I admitted that I did not do what I should have done. I also told the company that I was not able to catch the thief because I could not tell who was doing the bad deeds. Now they threaten to file a theft charge on me. I did not steal from them; I was just doing a bad job. Can they file charge even they do not have concrete evidence that I was stealing.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's  not 100% up to them whether charges will brought against you; in a criminal case, the state (the authorities) are the party that bring charges, not the alleged or asserted victim. If the employer believes that you did steal, they can report the theft to the police; the police, if they think there may be something there, may investigate; if the authorities then believe that there may have been theft, at that point, you may be charged.

There are many ways to prove theft without direct evidence. For example: say that they can prove that you were the only person who accessed a storeroom, based on some combination of witness testimony, security camera footage, work records or time sheets, etc. If you were the only one who could have stolen things, and things are missing, that could be enough to convict you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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