What do I do if accused of stealing at work? 35 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I got accused of stealing at work but I didn’t. I feel very lost and confused. I’ve never been in trouble for anything before. I need to know if I have rights to see the video.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Retain an attorney immediately to see if the matter can be resolved before it is submitted to the police.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/24/2011
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
It depends if charges are brought against by the District Attorney. You should contact a lawyer if formal charges are brought against you. Theft crimes can result in jail/prison time, fines, restitution or an effect on your ability to work later on.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information such as were you charged with a crime in court or is this matter just internally with you and your employer. If just with your employer I would need further information such as this a union job etc. Also if you are innocent and get terminated from your job, you may have a case for wrongful termination. You should hire an attorney and disclose all the facts and circumstances.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/5/2011
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
Your rights to see the workplace video at this stage are small. You should hire a lawyer. This is a delicate situation if you are innocent.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Thank you for the email. First, make no statements without the assistance of counsel. Second, you have no right to see the video unless you are charged. Then the video is provided through discovery. A theft offense can be very serious. While any theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Such an offense is still punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be extremely significant and preclude a person from finding employment where background checks are performed. Often, if you have no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Prosecution. A Stay of Prosecution means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain period of time to ensure that you do not have another offense.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/5/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    If you are in a union, you should talk to your rep If you are not charged with a crime, then there is nothing you can do. You should not volunteer statements, verbal or written, to the police. You should consult with and hire an attorney. As a matter of employment, you can be fired with or without cause in Michigan. So it does not matter that you did not do it. If you are filed, then there is no recourse without knowing more.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    I would recommend calling an attorney so you can understand your rights under the law. If there is any evidence of guilt, the State will provide this evidence to your attorney once charges are filed.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    You should contact a local attorney to discuss things before speaking to law enforcement or your employer.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    It would certainly be appropriate for you to ask to see the video, but you only have "rights" when the government - city, state or federal - charges you with a crime. Then you have the right to see the evidence against you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Don't make any statements to your employer or to law enforcement. Contact a good attorney. You probably do not have a right to look at the tape until they indicate that they are going to use it against you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If you are merely disciplined or fired, without being arrested for the crime, then you have no right to anything other than copies of any documents you signed. You could and should talk to HR and explain your position and try to convince them you are innocent. They may show you any video, but don't have to. Not only are there no laws against 'unfair treatment' or poor management, but in general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or fired any time for any reason, with or without cause, explanation or notice. The employee's goal should be to keep the employer happy and make the company money. That's how they pay your wages. If arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. He will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You do not have a right to see the video. But if you are ultimately charged with this crime, you have the right to see all the evidence the State intends to use against you. If that includes the video you will get to see it that way. If the State is not going to use the video, but you want to see it, you can subpoena it once there is an active case (subpoena's require case numbers). Prior to a case being filed, a lawyer can send an 'evidence spoilation' notice to the owner of the surveillance, which instructs them not to destroy it or record over it.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If you end up being charged criminally and you hire a lawyer, you can view the tape at your lawyer's office. IF you had an employment contract or are a member of a union, you may sue the company for wrongful termination. The main thing you need to consider is whatever you do, do not discuss this situation with anyone other than your lawyer. If you are of limited means, the court will appoint you with an attorney at no cost if you end up being charged with a crime. The other alternative is to hire an attorney. For example, you could hire a lawyer who practices criminal law and employment law. That lawyer could request the video and order the employer not to destroy it. A lawyer could also request a copy of your employment file. I would suggest you just lie low and find another job for the time being. If you're to be charged, the state must do so within three years after the original theft, unless you move out of the state. If you do, make sure to notify the prosecutor's office in writing. Lastly, if this is a first offense, you probably won't do any jail time. You can best position yourself by paying back what you stole as soon as possible. Just make sure to inform the employer that you dispute the allegations and you are not making an admission of guilt by paying them back.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You should immediately hire an attorney. The attorney , either personally or within his staff, also have a labor law attorney. You should not talk to anyone, from the company or the authorities without counsel. Period.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You will probably only get to see the video if you get charged with a crime. You should speak to a lawyer right away. This is time sensitive because you may be incriminating yourself by your current actions. Embezzlement is a serious crime with, sometimes, harsh penalties. Again, call an attorney right away to discuss your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    If you have been charged with a crime you have the right to confront your witnesses and see the evidence against you. If you receive a summons in the mail, contact a lawyer immediately. Do NOT speak to your employer or the police about this until you have retained and spoken to a lawyer. When it comes to criminal charges and dealing with the police, the principles of taking responsibility and being up front and honest will get you nothing but a conviction. If you need to speak with me more about this you can contact me at the numbers below.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You should have the right to see the video. If they charge you with a theft, your attorney can get the video, they cannot use it against you without disclosing it.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    Are the police involved? If so, you do not have to give them a statement, and your attorney may be able to gain access to the video. If the police are not involved, your employer can deny you access to the video.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that you were accused of theft at work and you are innocent. You want to know what are your rights and if you can see the video. You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions from your employer, the police, or private security. You have no right to view their video or see their reports. You have not been charged with a crime or fired, so just continue to deny any wrongdoing and wait to see if they take further action.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    If you feel as though you are being investigated for a crime, whether by your employer or law enforcement, I would recommend consulting with an attorney during the investigation stage. The attorney may be able to better communicate with your employer, and will be there with you to make sure your rights are not violated.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If a criminal charge is brought against you or if a lawsuit arises, you have a right to see/know of the evidence against you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    I need more information before I can answer your question. Did you get fired? Did you get charged criminally? Have you been questioned by the police or made any statement to anyone? What were you accused of having taken?Who is making the accusations?
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Remain silent, hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Contact the federal EEOC and consult with a criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    If you did nothing wrong, then keep working and carrying on as if you did nothing wrong. If you did steal, keep working and carrying on as if you did nothing wrong. There is little you can do to make an accusation go away. I don't believe you have a right to watch the video unless you have actually been charged. If you are charged then you can demand the video be preserved and a copy made available to you. If you are not charged you should just proclaim your innocence and keep working.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You would benefit from the services of a competent criminal defense attorney. An attorney can answer many of your questions and help you work your way through the process. An accused does have the right to see the evidence against him. If not voluntarily produced, you may have to file a motion in court to compel production. Such a motion could only be filed if criminal charges are brought.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You really must be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford one, then the judge may arrange for one to be appointed to represent you free of charge. Stealing from an employer is often consider an "aggravating" circumstance which may affect the plea bargaining negotiations. Hire a lawyer right away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    What you do is refuse to discuss the situation with anyone any further and seek the assistance of a lawyer. You do not have to provide any statements to the company, your boss, security or police and you should not. As you said, they are accusing YOU - not investigating. The video belongs to your employer at this time. Your lawyer will have access to it if you are charged with anything. You need to move on to another job regardless of what they do with this because they will constantly harass and suspect you having accused you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    First get an attorney. Second do not make any statements without an attorney, especially to the police. And yes if they claim that you were stealing and take official action against you(that is either deny unemployment or have you charged with a crime) then yes you get to see the tape.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    Unless and until you are charged criminally (or, theoretically, sued civilly by your employer) there is no general "right" to see the video. You should consult with an attorney, however, as there may be legal grounds to attack the video and if there is any audio on it, for example, then your employer may have committed a crime in audio-recording you without your knowledge.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to get a lawyer before you begin incriminating yourself. An attorney should be present at all times if you are interrogated or interviewed by anyone.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You can always ask them to show you any evidence they have against you. If they file criminal charges against you, you can definitely subpoena the video or any other evidence. If it makes you feel better, speak to a lawyer about the specifics as to what is going on. He will be able to direct you as to what to do. If you are charged with anything, then you need to get a lawyer right away.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    If you are charged with a crime, you will have the right to examine all exculpatory evidence (evidence that tends to exonerate you). You should consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer who can obtain all the evidence on your behalf by serving discovery request on the prosecuting agency.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney