What should I do if the landlord accused me of vandalism? 19 Answers as of October 12, 2010

My family's old landlord filed charges against me accusing me of vandalizing the property. This is not true because I did not vandalize anything at all and because I had not even been living there. What should I do, because I have nothing to do with this even though my name is listed on the complaint?

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The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
You are being charged with a criminal offense. The DA filed the charges after reviewing a police report. It is very important that you hire an attorney to protect your rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/7/2010
Desert Defenders
Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
Whether you did anything or not, you must defend yourself if you were named as a defendant in the complaint. An attorney can defend you to use the facts you presented to get you out of this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/7/2010
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Your post is unclear. If you have been charged with a criminal damage to property crime, the best way to proceed is an aggressive defense which may include acquiring police reports, evidence, photographs and witness statements. Any damage to property that is in excess of $1000 could be charged as a felony.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/7/2010
Anderson & Carnahan
Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
If you are charged with criminal mischief in Colorado for damaging the property of another you should get an attorney to protect your rights.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/7/2010
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
You can defend the lawsuit in small claims court. Call to consult with an attorney!
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to hire a lawyer. At this stage you should not be talking with anyone, and all communication needs to be through your lawyer, who should present your set of facts to the prosecutor to try and get the charge dismissed or reduced. Remember not to incriminate yourself, because police officers / prosecutors can turn any set of responses into something that is incriminating, especially now that your name is on the charging complaint as a defendant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    This sounds like a civil matter. Is it a complaint as in"lawsuit?" Anyone can sue you for anything. If it is wrong, they won't be able to make their case. If it is civil, please feel free to call me soI can try to advise you a bit. You will need to act so that you don't obtain a default judgment against you. Even if it is a criminal complaint, you really should call a lawyer for that as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    If you have been charged, you need to consult an attorney so that you can present your evidence in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    You should hire a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/6/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If you are sued, as it appears, you have no choice but to either negotiate a resolution/settlement, or you must defend the case in court, using whatever admissible and credible evidence, witnesses, facts, law you may have available. There may be grounds for motions, demurrers, etc, depending upon all the facts. If serious about hiring an attorney to help you, or consult with, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2010
    Criminal Defense, Inc.
    Criminal Defense, Inc. | Chad Lewin
    If it is a civil complaint, talk to a civil lawyer about defending yourself against the complaint, and do this immediately because there are strict time limits. If it is a criminal complaint and you are being charged with a crime, you need an attorney to help defend you against these allegations. We offer a free consultation so give us a call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Unfortunately, from your question I don't know whether this is a civil or criminal matter. Either way, please contact my office for further help.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2010
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
    You should speak to an attorney about the facts of the case. Your attorney may be able to prevent this case from going to court. You should also prepare yourself for criminal court: arrange for bail (or cash bond) and put a witness list together for your attorney (perhaps you have a sound alibi).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2010
    Steven Mandell
    Steven Mandell | Law Offices of Steven Mandell
    If charges have actually been filed against you by a prosecutor, then you should consult with a criminal lawyer about your best course of conduct. If the landlord is merely accusing you of vandalizing the property but no government officials have been involved, then you still might want to consult with a criminal lawyer to make sure that the matter doesn't go any farther. If you'd like to talk to me about it, please don't hesitate to call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2010
    Prometheus: A Social Justice Law Firm
    Prometheus: A Social Justice Law Firm | Aly Ebrahimzadeh
    You should file your response immediately, with an attorney's assistance. You can contact my office if your case is in California, as I generally handle such litigation matters. There are strict time limits that you have to respond to the complaint, so do not waste time in acting in your defense. In your response, you will need to assert your defenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2010
    Halpern Law Offices
    Halpern Law Offices | Daniel B. Halpern
    Please do not allow he/she (landlord) make such statements unless true. We will fight back for you! Call for a free one (1) hour consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2010
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