If a security guard accuses you of theft because they saw you but don’t have video proof is it enough to convict you?

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If a security guard accuses you of theft because they saw you but don’t have video proof is it enough to convict you?

I was accused of switching a tag on an
item and paying less for it. The
security guard claims they saw me
switch the tag but there is no video
proof his allegation.
Can this be dismissed in court from
lack of evidence?

Asked on March 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can be enough to convict you: many, many people have been convicted based on witness testimony without video corroboration. If the guard is a credible (believable) witness, his testimony only could easily be sufficient for a conviction. In any event, it would not be dismissed before trial due to not having video (unless the prosecutor believes the guard is a bad witness, or the guard "disappears" (e.g. moves and cannot be located or brought to court) and chooses voluntarily to not move forward with the case); eather, if the guard is available to testify, there would typically be a trial (unless you take a plea deal) and the court will decide if, given his testimony and any testimony of yours to the contrary, there is enough evidence to convict.


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