What do I do if I’m stopped by security and accused of shoplifting In South Florida?: Attorney Advice
If you’re stopped by security and accused of shoplifting in South Florida, start by taking a deep breath - we’ve got some tips for you.
If Security stops you at a store in South Florida due to suspecting you’ve been shoplifting, they will usually ask you some questions.
Security will likely ask to take your photograph and have you sign a written confession. You do not have to do any of these things!
You are not required to consent to either having your photo taken by security or to having to sign a written confession. We recommend that you probably shouldn’t do either of these things. You have the right to remain silent.
What happens if you don’t admit to security’s allegations that you shoplifted?
If you refuse the security guard’s request to have your photo taken and don’t sign the confession, the security will call the police to the store.
You will likely be arrested, or be issued a ticket of sorts demanding that you appear in court.
Depending on the value of the good you allegedly stole, you’ll be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony theft crime.
The tricky thing about theft charges in Florida, is that although the action is the same - the severity of the crime is determined by the value of the item you allegedly stole -- or even ATTEMPTED to steal. In Florida, an attempt to steal something can be prosecuted the exact same way as if you actually committed theft.
If Police are called to the scene, be polite with the officers, but do not say anything regarding the accusation against you. You have a right to remain silent, you can simply tell the officers that you are not answering any questions without your attorney present.
(P.S. even if you’ve never hired an attorney before, you can still say ‘your attorney’ if you want).
Then, as soon as you are able, call a criminal defense lawyer in your area with experience with theft crime allegations. There are many defenses to a shoplifting case, but you’ll need a good lawyer on your side to ensure all your rights are protected fully.
HOW WE WIN THEFT CRIMINAL DEFENSE CASES IN SOUTH FLORIDA
- Learn how we got petit theft charges dismissed and a criminal record expunged in Boca Raton, Florida.
- Learn how Rossen Law Firm got a Petit Theft charge dropped and criminal record expunged in Plantation, Florida.