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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102141
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I'm being accused my grandparent of a piece of jewelry being

Customer Question

I'm being accused my grandparent of a piece of jewelry being stolen. I was told by grandparent that she will testify against me because a few other family members have had money taken only when I've been around. There is no proof, no survelliance cameras or pictures or anything. My grandparent also said that she has not seen the jewelry for over a year. If she gets each family member to testify that they've had money missing in the past, how likely is it that I will be arrested?
Submitted: 2 years ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:
1) What state is this in?
2) Has a police complaint been filed?
3) If so, has the police asked you to make a statement and have you?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm in CT and no, she just told me today. She said "you better give it back or i'm going to testify against you and you'll go to jail". And I asked her when she saw it last, and she said last year. No involvement with the police or anything yet.

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. First of all, understand how this works.
1) a police complaint is filed;
2) the police investigate by questioning all parties involved and reviewing the evidence;
3) they pass on the information to the District Attorney;
4) the D.A. makes a decision whether to charge or not;
5) if they do not file charges, the matter is dropped;
6) if they do file charges, one can be arrested and then eventually either the suit is dropped, there is a plea deal, or there is a trial.
Herein, this is a year-old situation, with no proof but the complaining witness, then it is very unlikely that this would get past #3. Especially if one states that the alleging victim has had bad relations and may be filing a fake police report - that is - if this is true.
In case this even gets to the point of the police wanting an interview, an attorney should be used. There is no mandate to talk to the police, but of course if one does not, this may pass as suspicion. Ergo, most parties do respond, but, with counsel. Talking to the police alone is not a good idea because they will try to get the person to admit something and/or use their words against them. An attorney can help make a formal statement and/or an interview that is controlled and measured.
So the chances of this actually resulting in a charge? Unlikely, given the time passed between the alleged incident and the complaint now.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, lets say she does file a complaint. Will the police search for this at pawn shops, and go searching for it? We get along, but money has been coming up missing from different family members (very large family) and she said she would have all people that have had money taken testify against me. Even then, what is the likelihood of it going anywhere?

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Will the police search for this at pawn shops, and go searching for it?
I doubt that they will actively go searching for a year old missing jewelry piece. However, they may check with the pawn shops to see if a jewelry piece fitting that description has been sold, yes.
We get along, but money has been coming up missing from different family members (very large family) and she said she would have all people that have had money taken testify against me. Even then, what is the likelihood of it going anywhere?
Well, how can they testify if they DID NOT SEE anything? They have nothing to testify about.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She didn't see me take it, but she knows its gone.

Even if they DID find something fitting that necklace description, there's no way to prove that it was hers, so what is the most that can happen? In the case of her accusing me of taking it, and filing a complaint. Than police finding records that I've pawned it in a different town. Who's to say that it wasn't mine if she doesn't have a receipt showing that it was in fact hers?

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
So the police WILL be able to track it to another pawn shop, likely, that shows that you pawned it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yeah, but not a year ago-

maybe a few months ago.

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Even if they DID find something fitting that necklace description, there's no way to prove that it was hers, so what is the most that can happen?
I am sorry - if you are looking for me to say "this will just go away," I cannot. If the police see it pawned, and see that it was you, they may press the matter and the D.A. may pick up the case. It all depends on what the D.A. believes. Someone in your situation MAY wish to argue that the jewelery was a GIFT, then, and the grandparent forgot or has now changed their mind.
In the case of her accusing me of taking it, and filing a complaint. Than police finding records that I've pawned it in a different town. Who's to say that it wasn't mine if she doesn't have a receipt showing that it was in fact hers?
See above - it all depends on what the D.A. believes, however, they may choose to investigate further. I would consider hiring an attorney in case the police contact me for questioning.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

In previous question, I said 'for instance'. If they did see it pawned. Would this be considered petty theft? and what significance does not having actual proof hold for this situation. If she had survelliance cameras and you could actually see me doing it, than that is obviously different story. what is the most the D.A could do?

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
How much was the item worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she said 400

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Would this be considered petty theft?
It would be Larceny in the Sixth Degree, which is a class C misdemeanor in CT. A conviction can mean 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $500.
what is the most the D.A could do?
Charge one with a Larceny in the Sixth Degree.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The cops would need to try and look for it first though, given it is a year old missing necklace.

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Yes, indeed they would. However, most have a hook up to a database that shows entries for any items sold to pawn shops and they can do a search on it.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So does it make a difference that she hasn't even seen it for a year and is all the sudden saying it's stolen?

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Yes - it makes a difference in that the D.A. is less likely to pursue charges, however, this is not a guarantee of it.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

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