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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16045
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Mississippi state law. Property value of $11.5k. Accused

Resolved Question:

Mississippi state law. Property value of $11.5k. Accused not returning property. Accused evasive of questions, not returning calls or texts. Prior verbal agreement was not met. I originally had the property delivered to her for business use. There is no business in her name, and the terms of our partnership were not met. The property is owned by myself through my corporation. Can I press charges of larceny if she does not return, or offer to let me retrieve my equipment?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a criminal lawyer. This is the kind of an offense that could be handled in civil or a criminal court. So, yes, you can take this to the police, write up a complaint report for the fraud and let the state know that you want her prosecuted.

Sometimes, particularly when the owner of the property agreed to convey it to the defendant in the first place, the police will tell you that the matter more accurately belongs in civil court. If that happens here, your recourse would be to go directly to the prosecutor and try to have him press charges directly. The fact that you provided the goods for business purposes but that there was never and is not now any such business might overcome their reluctance to get involved in what would otherwise be a breach of a business ageement.

If the prosecutor refuses to prosecute because he believes that the matter is more appropriate for and that you'd have a better chance in civil court, while you can take this up the food chain to the head prosecutor, there's no further appeal after that. A prosecutor has the complete discretion to choose what he wants to prosecute and what he doesn't.

If he's not interested at all, you'd have to go forward civilly against her. The bad news, of course is that you'd have to pay for legal expenses to do that. The good news is, however, that the burden of proof in civil court would make a matter like this more favorable to your side than the burden for the DA in criminal court. The criminal court burden heavily favors the defendant.

So, cutting to the chase here, this does make out a crime and can certainly be prosecuted as one if the prosecutor is willing to charge it. Otherwise, you'd need to hire a civil lawyer and sue her for your property back.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16045
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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