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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 88657
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I have been accused of theft of a paddle floating on a riv

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I have been accused of theft of a 'paddle' floating on a river in Noel, Mo today. The police have the paddle which I recovered from the river and it doesn't match the description or have the markings of the campground that made the false police report against me. At first they tried to claim I jumped out of my kayak in Noel and took one...but when they realized that wasn't really possible, they claimed I took it from them up river, but everyone with me can attest that I only had my kayak paddle with me. They are charging my wife with trespassing because when she tried to pick me up from the river she lost the sticker that blew off the windshield. My friend that paid can attest that we paid. I asked the Marshal in the town what charge I can make in return but was told I can charge them with nothing... What are my options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am afraid that you have to first go to court on the trespassing charge and present evidence showing you did not trespass, since there is a bit of a fallacy of being innocent until proven guilty in these local courts. The prosecution does have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were trespassing, but part of this means that you would have to raise the reasonable doubt and you do so by having your friend who can attest that you paid for your permit testify. Once you are found not guilty, then you could sue the party who brought these charges against you for malicious prosecution and prove they made these known false statements against you and you would seek monetary compensation for their false claims.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

this answer doesn't address the other charge after they got angry about the dispute of trespassing...that being the charge of theft of a paddle.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I apologize, you did say they have no proof the paddle is theirs and you also said that the story they told the police was not possible that you could have accomplished the theft the way they claimed it happened. Thus, if this is the case, they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you stole their paddle. As I said above, they have to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, you stated above more than enough reasonable doubt in your statement in that it was not possible for you to take the paddle the way they claimed, the paddle does not match the paddle they claim was taken and you have witnesses that can attest it did not happen. If all of that is true, your witnesses would testify if the DA even accepts these charges and the prosecution could not prove their case against you. This would add to your case of malicious prosecution against the campground once the criminal case is over.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 88657
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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