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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13864
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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A former tenant entered my daughter's apartment while she

Customer Question

Hello. A former tenant entered my daughter's apartment while she was away; tenant had a key copy and took a coffee table left behind when tenant moved out 8 months ago. Daughter filed police report but is not sure she should press charges. This occurred in NYC.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: NY. Sunday July 30, 2017
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

Good morning,

Only the government, through the prosecutor's office, can actually file charges. So, it is ultimately up to the prosecutor's office to decide whether charges will be brought against this individual, now that your daughter has filed a police report. What will happen is that the police will conduct their investigation and may or may not make an arrest, but the report will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for a final determination. The prosecutor's office may talk to her but they don't actually need her to say yes or no.

Since it doesn't sound like the person entered the home to commit a crime, but instead take property that they left behind, it probably would not be charged as a burglary, but rather as a trespass to a dwelling.

Your daughter may also wish to speak to a lawyer about possible civil action against the landlord for not changing the locks on the home or ensuring they had all of the keys. Although she was not thankfully harmed (and the fact that she did not suffer any damages may make any case unsupportable), the fact that the landlord was so negligent in this situation and allowed a former tenant to keep a key could have led to very big problems.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

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