Being accused or arrested for shoplifting can be incredibly stressful and embarrassing. The term shoplifting is used to describe the non-violent theft of goods from a retail outlet. When a person has been accused of shoplifting, store security usually confronts them. The confrontation can occur while the person is still shopping in the store, trying to leave the store, or even days later. Most courts consider shoplifting a “property crime.” It is one of the most common forms of theft. Some thieves make a living by shoplifting, but not everyone who is accused of shoplifting is a hardened criminal. If you have been accused of shoplifting, contact Mark Yampaglia Law PC for legal representation.
The situations where a security guard can detain you in a store due to petty theft or shoplifting and the burden of proof needed to convict in court are very different. For a security guard to detain you, he merely needs probable cause. To be convicted of shoplifting in the court of law, prosecutors will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed shoplifting under the definition of the law. If you have been accused of shoplifting, you were probably taken to a private room by store security. While being detained by store personnel, your belongings were probably searched for the stolen merchandise. Once the stolen merchandise has been found, store security is likely to call the police. After the police had arrived, you were likely transported to the precinct where a desk appearance ticket with a court date was given to you. If you weren’t released, you were probably taken to central booking for arraignment in front of a judge.