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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26762
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My sister just got arrested of property she was getting away

Customer Question

My sister just got arrested for destruction of property she was getting away from a mental abusive relationship she did not do it but her other half put those charges on her she never let know one know she was at because he threthened to kill her and her dogs she is staying with my parents in GA she was never in trouble with the law before and ever he just wants revenge how can we prove he is living she couldn't go to the TN police because they are all his friends and wouldn't do anything I don't want to see her go to jail because that would kill her and my mom can u help me out please I am scared
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


If your sister has no prior criminal history, she's highly unlikely to go to jail for something like this. At the very worst, if she's looking to resolve this case without going to trial, she would end up on probation and taking anger management classes.

I'm not suggesting she should do that if she's not guilty of these charges. I'm just trying to tell you that your worst fears -- jail -- shouldn't come about.

Your sister doesn't have any burden of proof. That is, it's not her job to prove her innocence. Our system already presumes her to be innocent unless/until the state proves her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So what she needs to do is to fight against these charges. That means getting herself a lawyer and having that lawyer with her on her court date. If she's indigent and cannot afford to retain private counsel, she can just plead not guilty at her arraignment and then ask the judge to appoint her a public defender.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If she did go to trial what would probably be the outcome because she is innocent he is just dirty he lost his pet, he has been mentally abusive her her for 15 years and we have lots of people that know that so now that she left he wants revenge
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought I read that Tennessee is tough on these cases is that true
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if she goes to trial that is when she should bring witnesses and all for the mental abuse even though he has all the police men in that town as his friends and they won't touch him
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

If she does go to trial, it won't be any time soon. Cases can wait for months, maybe even a year or more before they are trial ready. Her first move should be to get representation. She and her lawyer will discuss her options and her chances. She can give her lawyer a list of any witnesses she thinks will be helpful to her case, and her lawyer can speak to them and see whether they will help her.

This is a first arrest where there's property damage only. If she goes to trial and loses, she can end up in jail. If she wants to cut her losses and take a deal, like I said, a lawyer could negotiate some form of probation for her, even in Tennessee.

The amount of time she'd be looking at in her worst case scenario would depend upon hom much property damage she allegedly caused. If this was a misdemeanor charge, a year in jail is the worst possible outcome if she is convicted at trial.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is she did you elect not to go to trial and take a chance in losing you said she would be on probation probably have to do anger management and what would be on her record would she have anything on her record will it be for life For What
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because she went to jail she probably would kill herself and my mom will probably die of stress
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When she was with him she paid for most of the bills because he's hardly worked and he expected her to pay most of the bills so he is there anything we can do with him besides hearsay
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

I have no idea what you mean because his statements aren't hearsay. Hearsay would be unsubtantiated testimony from people who weren't there to see what happened.

If you're saying that the property which was destroyed or damaged was actually her property because they lived together and paid most of the bills, that could be a defense to these charges, but again, since she has been charged with a crime, she needs to bet a lawyer and fight the case. Criminal charges do not just go away just because the defendant says that he or she is innocent. Disputes about fact have to be litigated in court -- decided on the basis of all the evidence.

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