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Barrister
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my friend is falsely accusing me of stealing 1200.00 from her

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my friend is falsely accusing me of stealing 1200.00 from her home. I have had a key to her home for almost 2 years and never had a problem with her. She is threatening to press charges and take me to small claims court if I do not return the money to her by Sunday. I did not take it but I have been alone in her home with her knowledge on several occasions so I feel like she might be able to place blame with me. I am not the only person with a key to her home but she is insisting that it is me. She lives in a condominium building and the employees have access to her key. I know this because I was once an employee of her building. I am not guilty but I feel like she will be able to make me look guilty in court because she has experience with suing people and she is very intelligent. Any advice would be helpful. I live in Atlantic county, New Jersey.

Thank You
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 years ago.

Hello,

 

If your "friend" (and it doesn't sound like she is your friend) files a civil suit against you and claims that you took the money, she has to prove it by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard is the judge or jury must be persuaded that the facts are more probably one way (her's) than another (yours). The fact that you had a key does not implicate you any more than any of the other people who had access.

 

If she does file suit, stay firm and explain that you have no idea what happened to her money and you are shocked and hurt that she would accuse you since you have been friends so long.

 

Unless she has some sort of additional evidence that would point to you other than her suspicions, it is highly unlikely that she would win.

 

I hope this helps and stick to your guns.

Thanks.

Matt

 

 

Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24536
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She claims that she set me up by leaving the money there this past sunday night when I was in her condo alone for about 20 minutes before she returned and said that her sister who also has a key and is unemployeed at the time is her witness to her leaving the money there. She didn't confront me about the missing money until wednesday night after I had spoke to her and seen her on several occasions between sunday the so called set up and wednesday. The employees of her building also have access to her keys. I know this because I was once an employee of the building. Will having her sister who I know would lie for her make her case better? Should I report this to my local police? Anything else I could do to protect myself? I am not in the position to pay for an attorney and I am afraid that she might win in court. Will I have a criminal charges against me if she dose win? Sorry for all the extra questions, but Im just really scared.
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 years ago.

Ok, with those facts it does make her case stronger. But the fact that it is family would be weighed against her testimony. At this point, she has done nothing criminal that would be actionable by the police.

If she did file suit, and if she did get a judgment, it would be a civil case, not a criminal one.

 

It doesn't make sense why she would "set you up" by intentionally leaving money out that could be taken. She would have to explain why she did this in court.

 

Thanks.

Matt

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is ther anything that I could do now to help my case if this does go to court and would it be in small claims court?

So what you're saying is that if she did go to the police now the couldn't do anything to me?

I just feel like I would look guilty in court by the claims she is making and I am currently working off the books and I think she would bring this up in court and then I would be in alot more than $1200 worth of trouble.

I think she is doing this because I recently started dating someone seriously and she get very jealous every time Im with him. She is gay and i believe she has had feelings for me but I dont have any proof of that.

Expert:  Barrister replied 5 years ago.

The reality of it that she could file a criminal complaint for theft, but the prosecutor would look at it and likely decide not to prosecute. The standard of proof in a criminal case is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and the prosecutor would likely conclude that he couldn't meet that burden and leave it to civil court. There is no guarantee he wouldn't pursue it, but in the thousands of criminal cases I have done, the prosecutors normally push everything they can to civil court to lighten their caseload.

 

She would file in small claims court but the fact that you are working off the books wouldn't be relevant to the claim and the judge might actually view that against her since the only reason she would bring that up is to try to make you look bad.

 

Until she does something, you really are in a holding pattern with nothing to do until you have to respond to something.

 

Thanks.

Matt

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank You Matt. You have been very helpful and if and when she decides to do something I will be back with more questions for you on how to proceed.

 

Thanks Again!

Expert:  Barrister replied 5 years ago.

You are welcome and I hope everything works out for you.

Matt

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