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Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1347
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I was arrested and charged with a burglary. I had purchased

Customer Question

I was arrested and charged with a burglary. I had purchased the stolen items from another person and did not realize they were stolen from a place where I worked 6 months ago. They have video of the crime and I have seen it. You can not tell who the person is. Also I have an alibi witness that is a plumber who I contacted to look at my hot water heater.
The said the property was broken in to at 10:54 pm. The plumber arrived at my house at 10:14 pm and stayed until 11:06 pm. He has signed a sworn affidavit to those times. When my attorney presented this info to the Pros. attorney he gave that info to the lead detective. Two weeks later and 4 months after the break in he now claims the video camera was off 47 minutes and the break in took place at 11:31 pm. My wife is will o testify that I never left our house after the plumber left at 11:06. Do you think they have a chance with no video and changing the time of the crime after they were presented with a good alibi.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 10 months ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.

It is not a great case for the prosecution, but yes, they certainly have a chance. You never know for sure what a jury is going to do.

There are things that are in your favor and things in the prosecution's favor:

Prosecution:

(1) They can link you to the stolen goods.

(2) You are linked to the place they were stolen from because you worked there. Someone who worked there would obviously know what was worth stealing.

(3) In order to get your explanation out on how you got the items, you will likely have to take the stand and testify. That can be problematic if you can't deliver the guy bought them from. Also, the prosecutor will question you about not recognizing that these came from where you worked. Of course, that partially depends on how unique they are.

(4) Video. Some jurors may think it is you.

You:

(1) Video. Other jurors may not believe it is you or just cannot tell and are not willing to convict without definitive evidence.

(2) The plumber alibi. Good stuff if he stays strong on the times, that you were there the whole time, and that he saw you when he left. Of course, that is diminished if the DA and/or detective can show the time was off on the video recording. The timing of their correction will not mean as much to the jury as it means to you because all these things happened before the trial which is the first time the jury is hearing about it. What's more important is the strength or weakness of their evidence that the camera's time was off.


(3) Your wife. Good assuming she comes off as believable, but, as you know, her testimony is going to be questioned heavily because of her inherent bias.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne you never know what a jury is going to do. It is definitely weaker than most criminal cases, but there are always risks in going to trial.

Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1347
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
Legal-Guru and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Will by attorney be able to let the jury know about the time change after presenting the first time on the arrest warrant. When the police found the clubs in my place of business, they search my house also. None of the stolen clubs were hidden. All out in the open. I would not recognize the clubs that were sold to me from where I worked. We had over 500 sets in the storage room. Also I had the video cameras installed when I was employed there and would never be able to get around that. I new exactly


the location in the storage room and would be crazy to break in.


My wife will be very believable in her testimony. Should I talk with my attorney and have me take the stand during trial?

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 10 months ago.
Will by attorney be able to let the jury know about the time change after presenting the first time on the arrest warrant.

Sure, he can do that through his cross-exam of the detective. The detective's explanation for their basis for saying it was incorrect will be important.


When the police found the clubs in my place of business, they search my house also. None of the stolen clubs were hidden. All out in the open. I would not recognize the clubs that were sold to me from where I worked. We had over 500 sets in the storage room. Also I had the video cameras installed when I was employed there and would never be able to get around that. I new exactly the location in the storage room and would be crazy to break in.

Ok, that is all good stuff your attorney can point out.

My wife will be very believable in her testimony.

Good, credibility is key for every witness. Just because of her relationship to you their will be some inherent skepticism of her testimony but that can be overcome if she presents well.

Should I talk with my attorney and have me take the stand during trial?

Whether you take the stand or not is a big decision that you will have to make after consulting with your lawyer. Often, that final decision is not made until all the other witnesses testify or at least until the prosecution rests their case. I have seen people who really helped themselves out by testifying, but I have seen just as many who have hurt themselves by testifying including some who jurors said they weren't going to vote to convict until the defendant testified.

It's a very complex strategic decisions and depends on many factors including whether there are other ways to get your version out without testifying. That could include it coming in through your wife or if you made a statement to the police that the prosecution introduces.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I have no prior history legal issues. Just speeding tickets. The video of the crime looks like someone taller and slimmer. My wife also has seen the video along with a 12 year fellow employee and both do not recognize the person. I am confident a jury will not think it is me.


With no priors will that help my case?

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 10 months ago.
The video of the crime looks like someone taller and slimmer. My wife also has seen the video along with a 12 year fellow employee and both do not recognize the person. I am confident a jury will not think it is me.

That is very good. If the jurors do not think it is you, then they should acquit you. I was just trying to impress upon you that there are no guarantees for either side once you get in front of a jury.

With no priors will that help my case?

Usually a jury does not hear if the defendant has priors or not, but if you elect to call character witnesses on your behalf that could come out and help you. Just make sure those character witnesses do not know something about you that is damaging that could be revealed on cross-examination.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I have a well known attorney in my town that has volunteered to be a character witness. He contacted my attorney on his own. How many character witness would you advise for my case. The person is also a member of the club that I worked and where the clubs were stolen.


 


Also they still have my desk top computer and lap top. They have had for three months. I know there is nothing that will haunt me. My attorney has requested they be returned. Do you think I have much of a chance to get them back soon?


 


 


 

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 10 months ago.
I have a well known attorney in my town that has volunteered to be a character witness. He contacted my attorney on his own. The person is also a member of the club that I worked and where the clubs were stolen.

I don't like that he's a lawyer. People don't trust lawyers and assume they always have an agenda and/or are on the take. Well known doesn't equal well liked and well liked doesn't equal trusted. On the plus side, I like that he's a member of the club. Listen to your lawyer's advice on whether to use him.

How many character witness would you advise for my case.

No more than three. Quality over quantity definitely applies here.

Also they still have my desk top computer and lap top. They have had for three months. I know there is nothing that will haunt me. My attorney has requested they be returned. Do you think I have much of a chance to get them back soon?

Unlikely until the case is over.

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