Can you be convicted of robbery if the victim can't say for sure that it was you but you were found with the stolen property?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

My brother was sold stolen goods and was charged with robbery after the police found the victim's stuff in his car during a traffic stop. The victim can't even say for sure that it was him who robbed him. Is possession of stolen property enough evidence for a robbery conviction? What possible defenses are there?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Kelvin P. Green

    Contributor Level 18

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A person can be convicted on circumstantial evidence. He needs an attorney to get through this.

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-... more
  2. Sean Patrick Lewis

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . How did the police have inclination to even look at him for the crime? there must be more than mere possession of the goods. Get a good crim defense attorney to help you, as soon as possible.

    The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney... more
  3. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is a great deal of risk even with this circumstantial evidence. You can assist your brother by helping him retain a criminal defense attorney. You can find one in your area by AVVO search or in local ads. He should have an attorney at once and have no contact with the police.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more
  4. Neil James Fraser

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There has to be sufficient evidence for the finder of fact (the jury) to believe your brother is guilty of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt. Each element of the crime necessary for a guilt finding must be proved to that standard.

    As the other attorneys have pointed out, circumstantial evidence may be present which leads the DA to believe he or she can prove the case. Direct and circumstantial evidence are treated the same - it's a question of relevance, probative value, and foundation.

    A robbery conviction is a very serious charge and a conviction would follow your brother through life. He needs to be represented by an attorney in whom he has faith. That could be a public defender if he's been fortunate enough to be appointed one of the many excellent and dedicated PDs in that office. If he feels that is not the case, I urge you to retain a private attorney. All possible defenses must be explored and only an attorney with experience can do that in a comprehensive manner.

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