DUI arrests don't always lead to convictions in court. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Visit our California DUI page to learn more.
Should I Be Read My Miranda Rights When I am Detained for Shoplifting in California?
It is not an uncommon scenario. A defendant leaves a department store with a few unpaid items. They are stopped and detained by store security. While waiting for the police to arrive, security asks them a laundry list of questions. Should this defendant be given a Miranda warning before they are questioned?
There is a lot of confusion regarding when it is appropriate to be read your Miranda warning. The concept behind it that citizens in police custody must be advised of their 5th amendment rights before they can be questioned. If they are questioned or provide information prior to this, the information is considered involuntary and is inadmissible in court.
It is important to be aware that store security does not have the same authority as police. If a security guard detains a defendant, they are not obligated to read your Miranda warning. They do have the right to detain a suspect if they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The test for probable cause is whether an objective person of reasonable intelligence would believe under the circumstances that a crime had been committed. This detention must be for a reasonable time, and carried out in a reasonable manner.
If you or a loved one has been charged with violating a shoplifting law, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your case with our office. Often mistakes are made in the arrest process. Perhaps you have valid defenses available to you that will make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Come in and speak with one of our California criminal lawyers for advice. (See our article, When does shoplifting in California become burglary?)
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
The 5 most common punishments for the crime of shoplifting include: a fine, placement in a diversion program, paying restitution, misdemeanor probation, and jail time. While first-time offenders will likely receive a punishment that is early on this list, offenders guilty of multiple shoplifting charges, or offenders that shoplift a high value of merchandise, will ...
If you use counterfeit money to pay for up to nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) worth of merchandise at a California store, you are guilty of shoplifting under PC 459.5, California’s shoplifting law–and not of a more serious crime like PC 459 burglary. Penal Code 459.5 PC, California’s new shoplifting law, was created by Proposition 47. This ...
Shoplifting is often a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT). If it is, it can increase the consequences of a conviction. It can impact a non-citizen’s immigration status. In some contexts, however, shoplifting is not serious enough to count as a CIMT. Such petty offenses are exempted from crimes of moral turpitude. Serious shoplifting cases can affect ...
Individuals suspected of shoplifting in California are being detained by private security guards and forced to sign confessions and pay hundreds of dollars to a private company for an unauthorized “diversion” program. Those are the allegations contained in a lawsuit filed by the San Francisco city attorney in November 2015 against a company called CEC. The ...