Can I be convicted on one person’s word?

Q: I went to store to purchase some items. Some stranger was standing next to me at store. Next day when I went to the same store that random stranger is blaming me for pick pocketing his mobile saying I was the only one standing next to him and when I left his mobile was missing. He doesn’t have any evidence nor any eyewitness and there’s no CCTV as well. Is this evidence enough for conviction? If not, what evidence will state require for conviction? Will I be entitled for benefit of doubt in this case? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: If in fact, that is the ONLY evidence against you, and the alleged victim did not see you take the phone and can only say you were nearby, I think you have a good defense. The standard for a criminal conviction is that the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The law does permit a person to be not only arrested, but convicted solely on the word of another person. However, in these situations, the person’s word must be extremely believable.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.