How can I prove that I stole money, but not nearly the amount they claim I took?

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How can I prove that I stole money, but not nearly the amount they claim I took?

Over the course of a few months, I made frequent late night visits to a family building that requires both a key and alarm code to get into. On 3 out of maybe 20 of these many visits,Ii took between $50-$60 each time from a cash box. On the latest visit, they had set up a camera which all but shows me taking the $50. When confronted the next day, it was claimed that $7000 was missing over the course of the months, and charges would be pressed if I did not begin repaying all of it. Is catching me once on camera taking $50 enough to file charges for a ridiculous $7000?

Asked on July 30, 2011 California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the concern: you were caught on camera. This is iron-clad hard evidence (not circumstantial) of not only you entering with the intent of committing a larceny but actually taking the money. So, if the police or prosecution or building owner or all three allege you stole $7,000.00 and it has proof you at least took $50, it will be up to the prosecution to show you stole the seven thousand and the burden is beyond a reasonable doubt. If you inform your defense counsel that you stole about one hundred eighty dollars, and have some sort of proof (times and dates you punched in the alarm code), the defense counsel or prosecution can subpoena those records from the alarm company. Any witnesses who may have seen you; any text messages. Those can all be proof you were there on three separate occasions and took money.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the concern: you were caught on camera. This is iron-clad hard evidence (not circumstantial) of not only you entering with the intent of committing a larceny but actually taking the money. So, if the police or prosecution or building owner or all three allege you stole $7,000.00 and it has proof you at least took $50, it will be up to the prosecution to show you stole the seven thousand and the burden is beyond a reasonable doubt. If you inform your defense counsel that you stole about one hundred eighty dollars, and have some sort of proof (times and dates you punched in the alarm code), the defense counsel or prosecution can subpoena those records from the alarm company. Any witnesses who may have seen you; any text messages. Those can all be proof you were there on three separate occasions and took money.


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