Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

Being charged wrongly with theft?

I am a college student. I was recently engaged and my fiance's parents bought me a musical instrument to help me get though school(the instrument is part of my major). We ended things in March, and my fiance took everything back he wanted, except for this instrument. Now, months later, he has begun to harrass me about wanting it back, repeatedly calling and bugging me. I feel that this was a gift. Now, he and his family have gone to the police to charge me with theft. The thing is that I went to the same police earlier this month to ask if he could do that, and they said no, it was a civil matter, and now the police are saying he can do that. Please help me!

Asked on 8/01/01, 5:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Aspinwall Charles S. Aspinwall, J.D., LLC
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Re: Being charged wrongly with theft?

It sound as though they are being vindictive, but you are in the position of having to establish that the instrument was a gift. Once you do that, there can be no criminal or civil case.

See if you have any evidence of the gift. A witness? A note, card or letter mentioning it? Did anyone overhear anything supporting it as a gift?

If not, the problem may be more difficult to resolve.

Good luck.

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Answered on 8/02/01, 9:27 am

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