Can I be convicted of a theft charge if there is no witness?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2012

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Can I be convicted of a theft charge if there is no witness?

Also, nothing was found. The only cause for suspicion is the sworn statement of someone saying that I had access to take things, even though others did as well. Additionally, the property had been broken into just a few months ago prior to this.

Asked on September 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, in a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is a very high standard of proof in order to obtain a conviction.  Based on what you have stated, it would appear that the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has not been met.

With regard to your question about whether theft requires a witness, it depends on what the specific theft charge is in your case.  The specific charge will have various elements that have to be satisfied in order to be liable for the offense.  For example, something could be stolen without any witness being present at the time, but there could still be evidence linking an individual to the theft. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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