Skip to main content

Do you have the right to sue a department store for a false arrest if you have received an ACD in the criminal court case?

New York, NY |

After an arrest for petty larceny, the defendant received an ACD, which will have the case dismissed in 6 months if the defendant stays out of trouble and performs 6 days of community service. The defendant believes he was accused due to a misunderstanding.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

No, you would not have a claim for false arrest. Although you may believe that you arrest and prosecution was a misunderstanding, a shopkeeper has the right to detain someone suspected of shoplifting for a "reasonable" amount of time to investigate. Since your case was prosecuted, you accepted an ACD and are required to perform community service, you do not have a claim for false imprisonment.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. Thank you and good luck.

Mark as helpful

Posted

There is mixed case law on this. The First Department says that an ACD bars a false arrest case while the Court of Appeals, NY's highest court, says it doesn't. Even if you can proceed 6 days community service looks bad for you . In addition General Business Law section 218 likely provides the store ad defense.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

I agree with Mr Rothstein, and to the degree it represents an absolute opinion, disagree with Mr Lipps. The issue isn't merely whether you've received an ACD or not (though if you were found guilty, you certainly wouldn't have a claim). The issue is whether the store had "reasonable suspicion" to detain you in the first place. As an aside, this would NOT be a "civil rights" case unless it involved a police officer who detained you. In any event, schedule a consultation with a NYC civil litigation attorney for a full assessment.

* If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics