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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Hi My niece (17 years old) was accused of stealing a cell phone

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Hi My niece (17 years old) was accused of stealing a cell phone at a yoga school. They told her they have a video surveillance tape that shows her stealing. They said if she doesn't return the phone they will contact the police and prosecute her. She denies it and thinks somebody may have suspected her and that they are bluffing. They refused her request to see the tape. Can she or her mom demand that they see the tape? can they refuse to allow her mom to see it. Thank you so much.

Thank you for the information and your question. Unfortunately, the yoga school does not have to show her or her mother the tape at this point. That said, if they do file a police report and she is charged, her attorney can get the tape, and any other evidence, that the State has in the case as a part of discovery. That would be the same if she is sued in civil court.

If the yoga school though tells people other than the police, that she took the phone and that is untrue, then she can file suit for defamation of character against the person who is spreading the false statements. Then, the school would have to produce evidence, including a video that she took the phone.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Marsha for your promopt and clear answer. I forgot to ask if the police can come and arrest her if the yoga school informs the police.

You're welcome. They can if they think they have enough evidence to file a charge. However, they also might just send her a summons, instead of coming and arresting her.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much. Have a wonderful evening!

You too and best of luck to your niece!