• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

What Are Our Chances of Proving Innocence?

ICG2020

Junior Member
#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Idaho

So a couple months ago my boyfriend was arrested and charged with some felonies (burglary and grand theft) alongside a former coworker of his. They had decided to hang out together after getting off work one night and were arrested in the early hours of the morning.

The coworker told the presiding judge that they had both gotten off work, got bored, and decided to walk to a neighborhood fairly close to their workplace and go around testing car doors to see if any were open. They found some and made off with one of the cars and many significant items from inside other ones.
My boyfriend told me that they had gone into the neighborhood and the coworker then proceeded leave my boyfriend alone for a while and then came back with a car. He said he figured the car belonged to someone the coworker knew and that's why he got in. They ended up in the parking lot of a convenience store where my boyfriend found out the car, and the other items in the car had been stolen after the coworker began emptying everything out of the car onto the ground of the parking lot and shortly after they were arrested (the arrest report states that someone had reported two suspicious males cleaning out a car and throwing the items onto the ground).

He told me since he didn't know the area at all and had no idea where to go that he just ended up sitting on the sidewalk while he waited for the coworker to return. He showed me that during that time he made calls to the coworker asking where he had gone which I believe will help prove that my boyfriend didn't do any of the theft.

The coworker took a plea deal and was sentenced to probation and released but has since been rearrested for more theft crimes. My boyfriend was released on bond and his trial will be at the end of April. He has a public defender (he had hired an attorney but couldn't retain him through the trial due to fiances) and I believe both he and his public defender have gone over the details.

I'm just wondering if there is a good chance that he can be cleared of all of the charges? He has a clean record and I (as well as many of his former coworkers don't believe that this crime is one that he's the type of person that would commit a crime and have agreed that this seems more like the coworker's doing or, if anything, that the coworker was the ringleader, as my boyfriend can be known to be easily influenced by the people he is around at the time.
 


Zigner

Senior Member
#2
... the coworker was the ringleader, as my boyfriend can be known to be easily influenced by the people he is around at the time.
In other words, it's entirely possible that your brother participated.

First, it's unlikely (highly unlikely) that your brother can prove his "innocence". On the positive side he doesn't need to. All he needs to prove is that there's a reasonable doubt about his guilt. He should work closely with his attorney. There's no way any of us can guess[sup]*[/sup] at the probability of any particular outcome.

[sub]*Ok, we CAN "guess", but it'd be just that...a guess.[/sub]
 
Last edited:

LdiJ

Senior Member
#3
In other words, it's entirely possible that your brother participated.

First, it's unlikely (highly unlikely) that your brother can prove his "innocence". On the positive side he doesn't need to. All he needs to prove is that there's a reasonable doubt about his guilt. He should work closely with his attorney. There's no way any of us can guess* at the probability of any particular outcome.

[sub]*Ok, we CAN "guess", but it'd be just that...a guess.[/sub]
Look at that carefully and see what you might want to edit...
 
#5
This is a boyfriend, not a brother. The good news is, though you can't get unrelated to a brother, you can dump a boyfriend. And that is exactly what this OP needs to do.

That said, this story sounds like something they hear all the time in these types of cases. Hopefully his public defender will do the talking for him and won't let him get up there and shoot this same old line to them. Some Other Dude Did It. Not me. I'm "easily influenced." The other guy was the ringleader. While he was doing that bad stuff that I didn't know about, I was on the phone to my scoutleader/sister/girlfriend/minister.

But the truth of the matter is that people hang out with people who share common interests. Hanging around with bad companions often brings bad luck. The likelihood of your boyfriend having NOT A CLUE what the other guy was doing, was going to do, had done, etc. is just about zero. That said, if he is truly a newbie to the court system and to any charges, maybe they'll swallow it all the first time it happens. As to what are his chances, we can't tell you this from the internet, of course.
 
Last edited:

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#7
Everyone has a perfectly clean record, until the first time they get convicted of something.
 
#11
I'm just wondering if there is a good chance that he can be cleared of all of the charges?
My response is based on what you have said in this thread and assumes that (1) your boyfriend was arrested along with the co-worker after being stopped while the two of them were in the stolen car and (2) that the co-worker will testify against your boyfriend and say your boyfriend was in on the thefts. Given that, I think it is not very likely that he’d be acquitted out right at the trial. Your boyfriend’s story admits he started hanging out with the other guy, and he was caught at the end of this adventure with the other guy. And when caught, they had all kinds of stolen property in their possession. So starting out that’s not good for your boyfriend. Add to that that the other guy will say that your boyfriend participated in it, too, and there is a lot for your boyfriend to overcome. And what is the defense he’s given you? One that is pretty lame, to be quite frank. He says they separated for a time and he sat down the curb doing nothing while his co-worker buddy did all the stealing, and then his co-worker happened to then pick him up at the end of it in the stolen car and your boyfriend asks no questions about the guy suddenly having this car and all the stuff in it? Doesn't have any idea that something is wrong there? Really? That’s not very believable. Most jurors are likely to see his testimony on that, if indeed he testifies at all, as simply a lame attempt to try to avoid responsibility for the thefts he and the other guy did. As far as the phone calls he made to the co-worker during this episode, all the phone logs prove is that calls were made. You are taking it on faith based on what your boyfriend told you what the substance of the conversations were. It may well be that he was calling the guy to say he'd found more loot and to come pick it up. They did not have to stay together during the theft spree to be guilty of working together on the crimes committed, after all.

I have spoken with a number of criminal defendants in the course of advising their defense lawyers on the tax aspects of their cases and I have talked with a number of my criminal defense colleagues. Almost all of those defendants were, in fact, guilty of the crimes they were charged with committing and told me or their criminal lawyer as much. But invariably while they admit to us they are guilty (because the admissions to their lawyers cannot be used against them) they of course swear to high heaven to their friends and relatives that they are not guilty and give whatever cover story they can think of to explain how they are innocent despite the circumstances. They do that for two reasons. First, if they admit the crimes to their friends and family that can be used against them should the prosecutor find out about it. Second, naturally they do not want their friends and family to think that they are criminals and so instead spin a tale of innocence. Quite often, the friends and relatives will buy the story, even if it is weak, because they just don't want to believe their friend/relative/lover is a criminal. That may well be happening here. He may be guilty but doesn’t want you to know it. It may be that he wouldn’t have done this but for the pressure of the other guy, but that wouldn’t really help him much.

Is there a chance he really didn’t do it? Perhaps, but I’m skeptical based on what you have said. But even if he is innocent, he may still end up convicted unless he has a better defense than what you’ve outlined here. His lawyer will have all the information about the evidence in the case and is in the best position to advise him on what the best route to take to deal with this is. Maybe he can get some kind of first time offender program that might keep a criminal conviction off his record, for example.

I would suggest you look at all the circumstances here without the rose colored glasses that your relationship with him has likely given you and ask just how realistic his story is and whether you can trust he's truly told you the whole truth.
 
Last edited:

Zigner

Senior Member
#12
My response is based on what you have said in this thread and assumes that (1) your boyfriend was arrested along with the co-worker after being stopped while the two of them were in the stolen car and (2) that the co-worker will testify against your boyfriend and say your boyfriend was in on the thefts. Given that, I think it is not very likely that he’d be acquitted out right at the trial. Your boyfriend’s story admits he started hanging out with the other guy, and he was caught at the end of this adventure with the other guy. And when caught, they had all kinds of stolen property in their possession. So starting out that’s not good for your boyfriend. Add to that that the other guy will say that your boyfriend participated in it, too, and there is a lot for your boyfriend to overcome. And what is the defense he’s given you? One that is pretty lame, to be quite frank. He says they separated for a time and he sat down the curb doing nothing while his co-worker buddy did all the stealing, and then his co-worker happened to then pick him up at the end of it in the stolen car and your boyfriend asks no questions about the guy suddenly having this car and all the stuff in it? Doesn't have any idea that something is wrong there? Really? That’s not very believable. Most jurors are likely to see his testimony on that, if indeed he testifies at all, as simply a lame attempt to try to avoid responsibility for the thefts he and the other guy did. As far as the phone calls he made to the co-worker during this episode, all the phone logs prove is that calls were made. You are taking it on faith based on what your boyfriend told you what the substance of the conversations were. It may well be that he was calling the guy to say he'd found more loot and to come pick it up. They did not have to stay together during the theft spree to be guilty of working together on the crimes committed, after all.

I have spoken with a number of criminal defendants in the course of advising their defense lawyers on the tax aspects of their cases and I have talked with a number of my criminal defense colleagues. Almost all of them were, in fact, guilty of the crimes they were charged with committing and told me or their criminal lawyer as much. But invariably while they admit to us they are guilty (because the admissions to their lawyers cannot be used against them) they of course swear to high heaven to their friends and relatives that they are not guilty and give whatever cover story they can think of to explain how they are innocent despite the circumstances. They do that for two reasons. First, if they admit the crimes to their friends and family that can be used against them should the prosecutor find out about it. Second, naturally they do not want their friends and family to think that they are criminals and so instead spin a tale of innocence. Quite often, the friends and relatives will buy the story, even if it is weak, because they just don't want to believe their friend/relative/lover is a criminal. That may well be happening here. He may be guilty but doesn’t want you to know it. It may be that he wouldn’t have done this but for the pressure of the other guy, but that wouldn’t really help him much.

Is there a chance he really didn’t do it? Perhaps, but I’m skeptical based on what you have said. But even if he is innocent, he may still end up convicted unless he has a better defense than what you’ve outlined here. His lawyer will have all the information about the evidence in the case and is in the best position to advise him on what the best route to take to deal with this is. Maybe he can get some kind of first time offender program that might keep a criminal conviction off his record, for example.

I would suggest you look at all the circumstances here without the rose colored glasses that your relationship with him has likely given you and ask just how realistic his story is and whether you can trust he's truly told you the whole truth.
Excellent post.