My family is being accused of stealing a class ring belonging to an 18 yr old high school senior (friend of my high school son).... The kid claims to have lost the ring in our old house some time a few months ago, we have since moved into a new house..... Just yesterday i was contacted by his mother and informed she plans to take legal action...
The mother believes we found the ring and pawned it.... That is not the case, no one knows where this ring is..... We live an honest lifestyle, no one in my family has ever been accused of stealing anything!.. So im extremely upset about this situation!!!...
I don't know the value of this ring.. I don't know if she can do anything since the ring is still lost.. And i don't know if the ring technically belongs to her or the kid??... But im worried about what this could cost us in legal fees to protect ourselves
You stop worrying about it. He claims he LOST the ring. They THINK someone pawned it. Guess what - pawn shops keep GOOD records. IF someone pawned it, there would be a record. If the cops want to, they can find out EVERYTHING you pawned ANYWHERE within minutes. They can't file charges against a FAMILY. They can accuse one person, but the police would have to believe that that person actually committed a crime.
This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Your communications with me are not protected by the attorney-client privilege since they are on a public forum and I have not agreed or even offered to be your attorney. No attorney client relationship exists or is intended to exist until I specifically state that a conversation is privileged. You may not agree with my answer and you may not agree with how I answer your question. I know that my bedside manner can be very abrasive to some people. However, if you decide to send me a personal e-mail to call me names or tell me where to shove things or tell me that I need to go back to law school because my answer doesn't comport with your google search, I reserve the right to publicize your message in any way I choose.
This really isn't an issue until/unless you are contacted by the police/charge with a crime or serve with a civil suit. In either case, the burden is on the State (criminal case) or the petitioner (party filing a civil suit) to prove that a theft actually occurred. They are the ones who need to submit evidence, and meet a burden of proof. As previously mentioned, pawn shops keep great records (at least required to by law) regarding items they pawn, so that would be a starting point. However, if the ring was never pawed, then I imagine there would not be any records showing that you pawned it.
I agree with the previous attorney's answers. It is a very scary situation to be falsely accused of a crime. I am sure that you and your family made several attempts to look for the ring (IF it was even lost at your home). In the event that you are contacted by law enforcement, contact an attorney prior to talking to them.
If someone pawns property that has been reported stolen. There is a computer system in place that will flag the transaction and notify the police. There is usually a picture taken of each pawn transaction, so it is pretty easy to identify the person involved in pawning the item. You might tell that to these people and insist that unless they have been notified that the ring has been pawned, the have no reason to believe that is the case. If you are contacted by the police tell them you want to talk to a lawyer before you answer any questions. If that happens, you may want to consult with an attorney.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline