General steps to detain a suspect
Store employees cannot detain store customers for no reason. In order to create a solid basis for a possible cause, there are generally accepted steps to prevent the situation of the wrongly accused of shoplifting. Therefore, before arresting a suspect, a store employee is to do the following:
· The employee has to see or track on the video camera how a shoplifter approaches the product and selects the necessary item
· The employee should also see how the thief hides, takes away or does any kind of manipulation with the goods (for example, takes off anti-theft tags or changes price tags)
· They need to monitor constantly the shoplifter and see that he does not pay for the goods.
· To avoid the situation when someone is wrongly accused of shoplifting, employees have to approach the thief outside the store.
Statute of merchants
The store employee or security officers should be aware of the rules for the detention of thieves in the store. In some states, security officers are provided with some limited protection from liability and the statute of merchants validates their actions. According to the document, a store employee has the right to temporarily detain a suspect in order to return their goods and to call the police. In case of arrest, the suspect's case is temporarily pending, and he is technically not under arrest. Even being wrongly accused of shoplifting at this stage, the suspects cannot take actions against the store.
Arrest a suspect
The detention process can turn into arrest and the suspect is taken into custody. In states that are not protected by merchant statutes, the situation is less advantageous for store owners. A store employee arrests the suspect without any defense against liability. In most states, in order to make an arrest, employees have to see the crime. If a crime is at their absence, they have to be sure that the crime has actually taken place. If an innocent person is falsely accused of shoplifting , the citizen can file a claim directly against the store.
Use of force during detention
When arresting a thief one should never use excessive force. In most cases, the presence of two or more store employees is sufficient to return the item and investigate further. Of course, employees can use force reasonably depending on the circumstances. However, excessive force is unnecessary and illegal. This can lead to civil liability for negligence. When a person is wrongly arrested of shoplifting, the owner is liable in court, but the use of force will also work against the store if the suspect proceeds his own case in court. Highly obscene language, insults and verbal threats are also unacceptable when a thief is in custody.
Your actions if you are falsely accused of shoplifting
If you are wrongly accused of shoplifting, you need to know your legal rights and what to do next. The first step is to hire an experienced criminal lawyer. Of course, you can defend yourself in court, but even in case of false accusations, you should not risk. A lawyer will help you develop a strategy for the defense and fight against accusations, and resolve the case in the best possible way. Below are several ways to defend against false accusations:
· You should understand the seriousness of the charges and hire a lawyer. A convincing defense against prosecution can be costly, but you need to do your best to ensure a positive outcome of the trial.
· Contact a lawyer prior to filing charges. One of the benefits of having a lawyer is that he can take proactive measures. In this case, you will probably not be charged with a crime. In some cases, he can discuss your case with the police or the prosecutor and convince them that you were detained falsely.
· Do not take any action without a lawyer and do not sign anything. If there is any physical evidence, receipts, checks, etc., everything must be provided to a lawyer. Also, get contact information for a witness who can provide useful information about the incident and accusations.
· Sometimes it is easier for the false accused of shoplifting to sign a plea bargain on a less serious charge than to risk a harsh sentence or permanent conviction. The confession of guilt should be the last on your list. If no methods suggested by the lawyer work, you will act according to the situation.
Using shoplifting equipment
In the case if you are falsely accused of shoplifting, but they discover shoplifting equipment during a personal search, it will be difficult to avoid troubles. If you are already going on such a risky business, be sure that you are using quality equipment. One of the best today is equipment from Bombastershop https://shoplifting.tech/info. Thanks to its optimal size and quality of devices, you can easily hide the shoplifting devices and finish your risky business with a successful result.