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If I was at the store with someone who stole something, am I guilty by association?

My sister has and has always had a stealing problem. Her and I went to the store together and split up. I went and took care of all the things I needed to get, and then met back up with her. I was in the aisle with her when I noticed that she was attempting to steal some things. I was trying to convince her to put everything back and telling her that I would rat her out if she stole. An undercover officer overheard us yelling at each other and now they are trying to charge both of us with theft. I didn't steal anything though. Can an attorney help me prove that I wasn't the one doing the stealing?

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    John J. Carney | The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    401 East 34th Street
    New York, NY 10016
    (917) 696-2363
    If your story is true and the prosecutor or jury believes you it may be enough to win the trial or get an ACD dismissal. Have your sister get the help she needs to make better decisions. You should have walked out of the store. The surveillance video may help corroborate your story.
    Answer Applies to: New York - Replied: 3/4/2013
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    5005 Lapeer Rd
    Burton, MI 48509
    (810) 743-2960
    No you can't be convicted of this. You were trying to stop her not help her.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan - Replied: 1/26/2013
    Sally Hamblin | Hamblin Law Office
    4015 W. Houghton Lake Drive
    Houghton Lake, MI 48629
    (228) 224-7120
    You tried helping her. You were charged by association, yes. If you can prove what you stated by sister backing you up or the officer hearing you, your arrest can be challenged. It is a bad situation. Next time you would have to totally leave the area, which may help depending on factors, or rat her out. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan - Replied: 1/25/2013
    Richard Williams | Law Office of Richard Williams
    301 Government Street, Suite 104
    Mobile, AL 36602
    (251) 272-3765
    If you are with someone in a store who steals the security will almost certainly take both persons into custody. With the facts as you have related, a good attorney might be able to get you out of this one. Please note a conviction for theft of property is a permanent record.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama - Replied: 1/23/2013
    Mark A. Broughton | Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    2445 Capital Street
    Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 233-5333
    Yes, an attorney can help you. For you to be guilty as an "aider and abettor" you must know that she is stealing and actually be helping her in some way - for example, acting as the lookout. The prosecution must prove you did this beyond a reasonable doubt, so a proper presentation of the facts could easily set you free!
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 1/22/2013
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