How can I be charged with petty theft via summons for an incident that I have no prior knowledge of?

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How can I be charged with petty theft via summons for an incident that I have no prior knowledge of?

Asked on February 27, 2014 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged if the authorities believe that there is reasonable evidence that you did this thing, such as based on another person's testimony (e.g. someone may be blaming you for something they did). This does not mean you will necessarily be convicted, since the standard of proof required to convict someone ("beyond a reasonble doubt") is much higher and much more difficult to meet than the standard required to charge a person in the first place, so you could easily win at trial--but again, if they have some evidence or testimony that you committed the crime, they can at least charge you and force you to defend yourself.


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