Criminal legal procedures can be complex, even when a case seems simple. Even after a court ruling or jury decision, legal procedures continue in the form of sentencing hearings and appeals. Protecting your rights throughout the process is an essential part of minimizing the impact of charges, even if there seems to be a dearth of evidence against you.
One Missouri man was allegedly caught on tape stealing money from another. The 32-year-old was charged with a felony of theft from a person following the review of surveillance video taken at a bar on May 4.
The footage shows another man in pain, writhing on the floor. That man later said he felt like he was having a heart attack. According to authorities, the 32-year-old man is captured on film taking a wallet from the hurt man’s pocket. The man on the floor later said he felt someone go into his pocket but thought it was his girlfriend.
After the sick man was taken from the bar to be brought to a hospital, video allegedly shows the 32-year-old man carrying the wallet into the bathroom. He came back later, according to the video, and tossed the wallet to the ground near the bar before buying a round of drinks and allegedly paying with a $50 bill.
The other man returned to the bar the next day for his wallet. At that time, he reported that two $50 bills were missing. Police used the video to identify and arrest the 32-year-old, who is being held on a $50,000 bail.
Defense strategies in such a case can take many forms. For example, defense may argue that the video doesn’t show the man taking the money from the wallet or prove that the money was in the wallet in the first place. Another way to go would be a plea bargain; either way, the defense will likely pay close attention to all court proceedings in case an appeal is possible or necessary later.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Madison County man steals wallet from victim who has apparent heart attack in bar, police say” No author given, May. 15, 2014