If someone presses charges saying that you took money from an organization, what will be the outcome?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If someone presses charges saying that you took money from an organization, what will be the outcome?

The person lost the money that was for a fundraiser and they are trying to say it

was stolen from the organization, what is going to happen?

Asked on September 27, 2018 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on:
1) The evidence--it's not enough for someone to just claim that another stole it; that would have to be proven in court if the matter goes to trial. It can be proven just by testimony (e.g. of the person pressing charges) if they are very credible (more believable than the defendant), but generally, there would have to be some other evidence, too--either the testimony of more people, to corroborate what that person said, or security video footage, or bank statements, etc. showing the defendant depositing the money into his/her account, etc.
2) Losing money by accident is not a crime: if it can only be shown that someone lost it (did not intentionally take it), they would not be convicted of anything, but could be sued to make them repay the money.
3) If it can be proven that someone did steal the money, then the potential punishment depends on how much money was involved: the larger the amount, the more serious the crime.

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