Question for the lawyers - False accusation/defamation

Dec 25, 2005
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NJ
#1
I race sailboats out of a yacht club usually once a week or more. I'm also down there more often working on some boats to help make ends meet.

So here's the story. There's a small marina down the street from the club that has a small hotdog/fried food truck. I show up for a race and the next thing I know I'm being accused of robbing the food truck. A few people know about this. Not many, but enough. The owner (who was a friend) says I was on a surveillance tape.

I didn't do it. I more than likely wasn't even in town, so I'm not worried about clearing myself. What I'm concerned and annoyed about is the potential loss of income or even livelyhood since I sail often.

Do I have a case for Defamation of character or what they call 'False light'? I mean, the owner does have a right to mention that the person on tape looks like me, but to spread it around a social club where I work seems pretty screwed up.

Thoughts?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
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#3
Is law enforcement involved yet? How did he accuse you?

If he's going around town telling everyone you robbed him, then you might have a case. If he accused you face-to-face, and has otherwise kept his mouth shut, simply tell him to involve the police and you'll happily cooperate.
 
Dec 25, 2005
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#5
LE has finally contacted me. I missed a call from a Detective a little while ago. Called back & left a VM. The owner didn't confront me directly. I heard through small gossip that this happened, then I spoke to him. I told him that I didn't do it, (nor would I ever) and not so politely recommended that he deal with this through proper authorities.

I'll cooperate obviously, ask to see the tape and go from there. The fact that I heard about this second hand has me very angry.

..and I'm certianly not a rich POS. I don't own a boat anymore. Need a decent job for that. Just race crew on others.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

Watching PTI
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Mar 22, 2006
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Red Jacuzzi
#9
You race sailboats out of a yacht club, how could your reputation get any worse?
 
Dec 25, 2005
10,005
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NJ
#10
Get a lawyer. Now. Innocent people go down for shit all the time.
I'll talk over the basics (where I was/when) and that's it. The nano second I feel like this is escalating I'm asking for a lawyer. I don't have the money to retain one myself though.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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F.U.B.A.R
#12
I'll talk over the basics (where I was/when) and that's it. The nano second I feel like this is escalating I'm asking for a lawyer. I don't have the money to retain one myself though.

Good luck, bro.

I'd seriously take DTT suggestion into consideration. The cops are not your friend and are just looking to close their case as fast a possible.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#16
Was the food any good
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#17
I'll talk over the basics (where I was/when) and that's it. The nano second I feel like this is escalating I'm asking for a lawyer. I don't have the money to retain one myself though.
Seriously,I wouldn't give them my name without a lawyer present. Call the public defender if you don't have enough to pay right now. If they're calling you, they already think you're guilty.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
54,127
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#18
I should ask Zag to change your "Like" button to "Boo"
You joke, but that would actually be a sweet option to add. It should be right next to the like button. I'm actually going to suggest that. Cool idea, dude.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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Idaho
#22
In defense of the roach coach owner, you all do look the same:

 
Dec 25, 2005
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NJ
#23
Anyone want to start a donation page for my bail?
 

Poison The Well

Somebody poisoned the water-hole!
Jan 7, 2008
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#24
I'll talk over the basics (where I was/when) and that's it. The nano second I feel like this is escalating I'm asking for a lawyer. I don't have the money to retain one myself though.
No. Talking over the basics with a cop in a closed room by yourself is basically the same as them accusing you of the crime. It sounds stupid but that's exactly the same shit that you'll see on First 48. Get a lawyer and let them do the arguing.

You could end up going in for 'questioning' and then leave in cuffs based JUST on what the cop thinks of your story. You could be innocent and they'll still put you in links and have you spend the night in lock up. Just talk to a lawyer, if anything, to find out what the best course of action would be. That will at least keep you out of some potentially shitty situations where it's your word against the accuser's and the opinion of a detective.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#25
Google the Reid Technique and you'll understand why you should never ever ever talk to a cop without a lawyer present. If they're taking to you, you're guilty in their eyes.