Slander per se includes making false statements imputing criminal conduct -- but it ALSO involves communicating these statements to THIRD PERSONS.
So if the property owner called YOU a thief and an unindicted 9/11 co-conspirator to your face -- that would likely not be considered slander.
But if he told somebody ELSE that you were -- this would be.
Also, you need to distinguish between expressions of opinion which are protected free speech from slander which is not.
In general a statement that indicates how a person feels is more likely to be an expression of opinion and not actionable --
"so if I say Joe has the morals of a bank robber " this is an expression of opinion that would be protected speech, BUT if I said
"Joe robbed a bank yesterday" -- this would be actionable (so long as it was not true, and Joe had not robbed any banks in the recent past)
This answer is for guidance only and is not intended nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.
This is NOT a DIY matter, but yes, falsely accusing another of a crime is defamation per se in most jurisdictions. You should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction to get a more specific opinion. Good luck!
If you think my response is the best response, it would help me if you would indicate that. Also, please note that my responses to question(s) are NOT legal advice from me to you because I am NOT your lawyer, you are NOT my client, and we do NOT currently have an attorney-client relationship. Thanks!
Before filing a lawsuit, you and your attorney should consider your exposure to the defendant's attorney fees. See my white paper on the anti-SLAPP defense, which can cause an unpleasant surprise.
Once your defamation lawsuit is filed, you won't be able to escape exposure to attorney fees should an anti-SLAPP motion be filed by dismissing your lawsuit. A dismissal in such a case would automatically entitle the defendant to an award of his/her attorney fees.
See my white paper, below.
This answer is not a substitute for legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action that may affect your rights
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