If I merely helped a co-worker take some bags to his car, why am I being charged with larceny?

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If I merely helped a co-worker take some bags to his car, why am I being charged with larceny?

I was helping a co-worker take bags to his car and when we tried to go back in we were stopped by the stadium security. They wanted to know what was in the bag. I didn’t know and that’s what I told them. They said they have us on camera talking the stuff to the car. They called the cops who questioned me and told me that I will receive a summons in the mail. I didn’t know what was in the bags until after the police told me.

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You would not be guilty of a crime--e.g. larceny--unless you knew that your friend was stealing and helped him do so. However, you can be charged if the authorities believe that you may have knowingly helped him commit a crime or participated in a crime--they need far less evidence to charge you than convict you. They may believe that during the course of the investigation, evidence will surface (such as the testimony of the co-worker--he may try to implicate in exhange for a more favorable deal) which will allow them to prove you were involved.


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