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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24983
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Is it a violation of my 4th amendment rights ex client to

Customer Question

Hi, is it a violation of my 4th amendment rights for my ex client to file charges on me claiming I stole $25000 from him when he based his claims on his word and no supporting documents showing what my fees were. I was his subcontracted bookkeeper and he filed a false insurance claim after I resigned and told him I was reporting him for tax evasion. He swore on an affidavit to the insurance company that I was an employee for 6 years with no gaps in employment when in fact I was an employee the two first years, laid off a year, and a subcontracted company 3 years. They paid him and he filed charges. He wrote a short weak statement and the whole statement was a lie and he had no proof that what he said he approved me to make was true just his word. Hes got two pages of traffic tickets, driving dangerous, brandishing firearms, and Ive never been in trouble in my life. He said in the sworn statement to the insurance company I was fired for stealing and his statement to the cops said I resigned. It is clear he is full of it. It says in the police statement and the police were present when I quit and said I was calling the IRS and MO Dept of Rev on him. The detective wrote it in his statement that I said that as did I. It was retaliatory. He told the police I was the primary check writer in the company and I was approved to give myself advances but states I overpaid myself. I did not overpay myself, much of it was reimbursement for expenses for which I have proof of. He wouldnt know that though because after I quit he never called one time and asked me for any kind of invoice etc for the pay I recieved and he would not know what any of it is for because all of my pay was listed as subcontractor pay. He committed years of tax evasion including subcontractor misclassification with me which I told him I was going to report him for and I was his bookkeeper. I have actual physical evidence backing me up. When the police questioned me they asked me to get that stuff to them and a few days later my best friend died and a day after her funeral my Father who was my best friend and was living with us because he was sick had a massive stroke and my 9 year old son found him and then died. I spent the next year helping my kids heal and forgot all about it because I showed it to a lawyer and he said it was a civil case and he said she said dont worry. The detective even said it was he is word against mine. So how did the prosecutor do this to me. He filed charges, I had to get arrested, Ive paid 6 grand to bond and a law firm and still owe 6 grand to go to trial where if Im found guilty I will do 5 to 15 in prison. Im a mother and a business owner and he has destroyed my reputation, my income, my life based on lies. I have court in 5 days where Im supposed to take a guilty plea and they will let me pay back 15 grand of the money I DID NOT take and after 5 years of probation they say it wont be on my record. BS, yes it will. The rest of my life. I am not guilty, I have never been in trouble this is a nightmare. Was this against my 4th amendment rights? They did this based on his claims which were malicious and calculated to shut me up and it worked.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

This may have been an injustice if your prosecution was based entirely on lies from your employer, but it's not a violation of your 4th Amendment rights. Your 4th Amendment rights prevent the government from unreasonable search and seizure. They do not apply to a private citizen or company, such as your employer.

The police do not need much evidence to make an arrest and the prosecutor doesn't need much to file charges or even to secure an indictment. All they need is something called "probable cause." Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that you may have committed a crime. As you can see, it doesn't take all that much to get the ball rolling. And the words of a believable complainant, even if he is later proven to be a liar, are enough to provide probable cause and get you charged. If you're thinking that anybody can get somebody arrested if they really want to badly enough, you're close to being right. Fortunately, however, more people are honest than not, so they don't play the system like that.

Police also play the system. You're not required to talk to them when they want to ask you questions or get information and documents from you. And they are not required to tell you the truth. The US Supreme Court has said that they can use deceptive and coercive means to learn about crime. So they sweet-talk you into thinking you are helping them, and meanwhile you are turning over information that leads to your arrest. They are allowed to do this, although they are supposed to warn you that anything you tell them can be used against you.

From there, however, in order to find you guilty of a crime, the state has to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And you can have hearings on whether the police conduct was improper and confront the witnesses and the evidence against you. You do, as you have learned risk prison if you go to trial and lose. If they are offering you probation with a deferred adjudication (they'll dismiss the charges when you complete probation and make restitution) and you want to cut your losses, that's a fairly good deal. If you didn't commit the crime, however, you have an absolute right to turn down the plea offer and make the DA try to prove its case at trial.

Nobody will make you take a plea. Your lawyer may think it's a good plea and that a plea is a good idea for you. But if you are not guilty and want your day in court, you can refuse the plea. Then your lawyer is required to give you the best trial defense he is capable of giving you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought it was a violation of my rights because I had to be arrested and they have no factual basis except his words that it was true. This is not the case?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

No. That's not the case. If the police believed the complainant was probably telling the truth, that's good enough to get you arrested and charged.

Many, many, many cases are what we call "he said/she said" cases, and the judge will instruct a jury that the words of just one witness ARE evidence and that if the jury believes that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt they can convict.

If you go to trial this case will all come down to the credibility of the complaining witness.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hes a douchebag and he lived out of town in a penthouse drinking and snorting coke and using woman and left me in charge of his company while he spent the money on partying. He has no clue about his business. He cant even tell anyone when I even got a raise because he is add and has no memory. I have countless emails complaining of loose bookkeeping and how they need to tighten things up etc. I have documents he doesnt even know are missing because he doesnt even know they exist. So without a contract and based on his word do you think they would convict me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also will it matter that he lied in the police statement and the insurance claim clearly. Wont that look suspect?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it will. If you go to trial, he will have to testify against you. Your lawyer would get to cross examine him and try to impeach his testimony so that the jury realizes he's lying.

No case is ever a slam dunk for either side. But if you have strong evidence that the complainant is a liar and the jury sees that, they should not convict. Your lawyer will be able to tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case so that you can make your final decision as to plea or trial.