What can I expect if I am accused of theft? 9 Answers as of August 04, 2011

My teen daughter went to walmart with grandparentshe bought some makeup and when she was at register sercurity told grandma that she was stealing some lipgloss. They made her empty out her pockets and had grandparents wait outside the store and had my daughter show them where she put the gloss back. Two men and my daughter alone. What are her rights?

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Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
The store has a right to detain a person suspected of theft until the police arrive. She is lucky she wasn't charged with a crime.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/24/2011
Law Office of Mark Bruce
Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
Was your daughter charged in criminal court? Usually Walmart will unofficially handle these things if it's a teenager's first offense. They'll civilly charge you for the cost of the security people. If Walmart goes to the DA, your teen daughter, if under 18, will be brought to juvenile court. If she's over 18, she goes to Superior Court. If she has no record, she will likely be able to handle this without jail time and minimal probation, if she's put on probation at all.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2011
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
If the security guard was privately hired by the store, and not a police officer, she does not have recourse in her criminal case to get any statements she made to the security guards suppressed. You are only required to have your miranda rights read to you when the circumstances amount to custodial interrogation by a police officer. This does not include private security. If the security told the officers what happened when they arrived the court will not keep this evidence out. If this is her first offense she will probably get a good offer from the DA to resolve her case for community service or a class and a fine. Some courts will even offer a deferred entry of judgment program which allows you to complete certain requirements imposed by the court and the case will be dismissed upon completion of these requirements. If she is facing criminal charges for this she should speak with a criminal defense attorney right away.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
I am not sure as to what you are asking. Her rights are the right to remain silent, there right to an attorney. The right to hear the charges against her, the right to a trial judged by her peers, the right to hear the witnesses against her and the right to cross examine the witnesses, the right to subpoena witnesses on her behalf, the right to put on a defense. That is if she is over 18. If not then she cannot have a jury trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    She has the right to remain silent. Get an attorney for her before she incriminates herself more. And understand that paying the store is only a civil matter, and does absolutely nothing to eliminate the criminal case, which is separate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You can expect that a prosecutor will be doing all he can to see to it that your daughter is convicted of theft. You do not want her to have a theft conviction as this is considered a crime of moral turpitude. Of course if shye is found guilty this could impact her future employment opportunities. The smart thing is to immediately meet with an experienced criminal defense law firm to help her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Her rights are to defend any criminal charges. What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense. A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. It also includes any communication or dealings with the store agents. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. If you havent yet been arrested, or at least havent yet gone to court, your attorney may be able to negotiate a civil compromise agreement with the store that will avoid you being prosecuted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    If they didn't find the merchandise on her, the odds are overwhelming that no charges will ever be filed against her. They may not even bother over such a small amount. If the police were involved on that day, then there may be a case filed against her. If she was arrested or cited (or if the police were involved in any way), find a local criminal defense attorney to sit down face to face and discuss the case. Keep in mind that they may also send you a "civil demand" letter asking for hundreds of dollars. The letter will sound intimidating, but when you discuss things with your attorney, discuss the legal significance of that letter as well - they're all bark and no bite.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
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