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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Looking for second opinion and an additional question-- Im

Customer Question

Looking for second opinion and an additional question-- I'm in Texas and my roommate(A) is accusing my roommate(B) and I of burglary of a habitat. To explain the situation; Roommate A owe's me a large amount of money which I don't believe she will ever pay back. She has been promising VIA text that she will leave the rent and utilities on the counter for me, she's been saying this for over a week now. She promised to leave $700 on the counter by Sunday to pay for her debts (which is less than what she owes me) and that she would be moved out by Sunday. On Thursday, I went out to bible study and shortly after getting there, my mom called me and told me my uncle passed away. I had to leave to be with my family. So I went straight home ( a different town). Roommate B said that night that Roommate A didn't leave rent, which didn't surprise me. And when she came home, she came in with 2 guys and got ready and went out to the bar. She came back home wasted with a guy, threw up in the kitchen and in the sink. (She addmitted this in the police report but failed to include the info about the guy, falsifying the police report) She ordered pizza and they did what they planned to do (sexually) and then they passed out. The next morning my roommate B woke up due to the sound of the door chime on the alarm (sounds when the door is opened) and went into the kitchen and realized it was the guy who had been over leaving in the early morning hours and there was $700 on the counter, she called me and i told her to take it because it's the rent she's been promising to give me for a week.(Via text, she says she will leave $700 on the counter) She saw Roommate A passed out on the couch overly exposed with her bedroom door wide open. She then got ready and went home for the holiday and deposited the money into my bank account. I went back to the apartment at about 10 to find the deadbolt locked so i left to get lunch with a friend and came back about 12 and went inside then slept almost all day because I had a long night with the death of my uncle and my family. I woke up to several text messages of her accusing me of breaking into her room and stealing her money, she also threatens to "flip my world upside down" and I calmly tell her I didn't steal it, roommate B assumed that it was the money she had been promising for so long. The police were called and they took a report, which the officer KNOWS that the bedroom door was wide open, that she was extremely drunk and admits to passing out and throwing up however she didn't admit to the guys that had all been over and she claims that she remembers the money being in her room because she ordered pizza and it was there when she got home from the bar at 2:15/2:30. I honestly did not burglarize her room, I wasn't even in town. My roommate took the money from the counter because I asked her to, because I didn't want there to be any more conflict about rent and any more late fees affecting my account or credit. Today I over heard her in the living room with a friend saying that the money was actually intended for me but she got invited to a concert and then needed the money. That's why she was so "pissed". Any advice? Will there be a conviction? Is this even a case? I've been in touch with a police officer who seems to believe that this is only a civil matter and there actually isn't a case here for burglary. PLEASE HELP. I am a pre med college student and I am FREAKING OUT. This is my whole future here. UPDATE: Can either my roommate B or I be charged for theft ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: I prefer a second opinion.
I am looking for written laws (penal codes) to help with when I speak to the police, and to help me feel confident. I am not only in fear for MYSELF but also for my ROOMMATE (B) ( as described in the summary )
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The men really aren't relevant to the case, unless you were trying to say that it was the guy who took the money, and you aren't saying that. Her sexual habits don't have any bearing on the police report, her credibility as a witness, or the outcome of the case (unless she specifically gave false testimony, rather than just leaving him out).

This really is a civil matter. Police likely will not get involved, since she owed you the money. If you do wind up in court, you can countersue for the same $700 that she already owed you, and you can testify as to what you overheard her saying, both of which will help you. You would also have the ability to subpeona her friend to testify as to what she said, but whether you want to do that will depend on whether her friend is a better person that she is. You can also use the texts showing that she said she would leave money for you on the counter. If you have texts from the other roommate saying, "Hey, there's money on the counter!," that will also help.

As far as criminal charges, you weren't even there, so you can't be charged with burglarly unless there's evidence that you and your roommate conspired to enter her room and steal. Burglary requires the entering of a building or room within a building with the intent to commit a felony. Tex. Pen. Code, Section 30.03. If your roommate had entered the room, it would only be burglary if she were intending to do something illegal when she got there. If she had walked in to make sure Roommate A hadn't died of alcohol poisoning, that's not burglary. Also, burglary requires intent to commit a felony, and stealing $700 would be a misdemeanor. Tex. Pen. Code, Section 31.03. So, it's still not burglary. It could be trespass, but it really doesn't sound like there's enough evidence.

If she really tries to get you arrested and pushes the criminal charges, when this is all over, and the case is dismissed, you can sue her for malicious proseuction. The judge has the ability to award punitive damages, based on the wrongfulness of behavior, and trying to get someone charged with a felony so you can go to a concert is pretty bad.

On top of all that, filing a false police report is a misdemeanor, so if the police drop it, you can ask them to prosecute her. Tex. Pen. Code, Section 37.08.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20395
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have now spoken to an investigator. I'm quite sad because it seems that there is an ongoing investigation. What do I do at this point?I sent him all of the texts and I don't think it helped

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

There's really not a lot that you can do at this point. You can't stop them from investigating. If you have receipts showing that you were out of town, that could also help. If it looks like they're considering pressing charges, you have the option of hiring a local attorney to talk to them on your behalf.

 

But, based on what you've said, they aren't going to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you stole anything.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

WIll hiring an attorney make me look guilty? How long do you think this investigation will last?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
There's unfortunately no way to estimate how long an investigation might take. It depends on a lot of unknown factors - including whether the police officer has scheduled vacation time, how long it takes to track down and talk to witnesses, and whether the officer has other cases that are a higher priority. Cases can be resolved in a couple of weeks or sit on a desk for months. There's just no way to know.

Innocent people need lawyers every bit as much as the guilty. Hiring a lawyer only means that you recognize that a professional might be able to help you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The case has been given to an investigator to review, what happens now? Can he decide that there isn't a case and close it? If not, will the officer who took the call and came over be involved in the investigation?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The investigator can decide to do nothing based on lack of evidence, yes. If he does that, it's extremely unlikely that the original officer would get involved again - even if he were allowed to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Do you think that it is likely that he will do nothing due to lack of evidence? The only evidence he has at this point is text messages saying she would leave it out.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
An officer will often close a dispute if either there's not enough evidence to convince a jury or it's clear that two parties have a legitimate dispute over which of them is entitled to something, and it's a civil issue between those people.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

To your knowledge do you feel this is the situation?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Based on the information you've provided, I'd be surprised if the police didn't say that this was a civil issue to be worked out in Small Claims Court. But it's hard to say, because I only have one side of the story, and I can't anticipate what sort of lies someone like you've described would be willng to tell for her own selfish gain.

Whatever happens, I hope you are able to find a way to get a new roommate. I've been in these types of living situations, and it's just toxic for everyone. That's not what you need when you're supposed to be studying.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that the only statement they have from her at this point is that the money was in her bedroom. She would lie and did lie to the officer who took the call. Why would the
Investigator send this to the DA?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The only reason the investigator would forward it is if he believed her over you and your roommate.

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