I don't know what kind of lawyer to call . I was detained by Kohl in South Orange County for shoplifting . I don't shoplift .

Asked over 1 year ago - Irvine, CA

I'm 44 years old and I have never been in trouble my entire life. I was treated like a criminal in front of other shoppers and taken into a windowless room and told to sit in a chair and empty my purse and was very rudely asked what i was wearing under my clothes they wanted to know what i had of theirs. I had nothing. i don't shoplift. I never have and never will. I have never been arrested in my entire life and never been in any trouble EVER. I was humiliated, scared, shaking, couldn't think straight - seemed like a bad dream. What can be done?

Additional information

They admitted that they did not follow protocol and informed me that the man was new. They apologized to me said they would call me to offer me a gift card and they never did. The man who apprehended me failed to check the cart that i left in the store before he approached me as i was going out the door. All their property was in the cart that I left in the store. I was treated like a criminal, ushered into a windowless room and told to sit in a chair as 3 of them were very harsh, rude and relentless on their questioning and treating me like scum, like a dirty, guilty criminal.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Joseph Briscoe Dane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You posted under tr criminal defense category, but it sounds as though you didn't do anything and won't face any criminal charges. If I misread that and you were in fact arrested or cited, then contact a criminal attorney for a consultation.

    If you're asking what can be done about the conduct of the store security, that's a different matter. Yes, they are allowed to detain somebody they suspect of theft, but if they acted unreasonably, there may be an issue. The question will be - what are your damages? Is it worth an attorney to file or hurt feelings? A complaint to the store definitely sounds in order... If you want to iscussnit further, set up a time with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

    The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact... more
  2. Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

    Contributor Level 17

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Dane answered your question about the authority of the store personnel to detain you.

    I am going to change the practice area to "litigation" because if you want to sue Kohl's you will need an attorney who is a civil litigator.

  3. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . When someone is wrongfully detained by store security, he or she should ask what motivated the security personnel to single him or her out... was it race? Sex? Some other protected category? Profiling or other reason may be a violation of the detainee's civil rights in which case a civil rights lawyer should be consulted ASAP.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.

    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  4. Seth Andrew Weinstein

    Contributor Level 15

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to hire a criminal defense attorney. You are facing a misdemeanor charge of Petty Theft unless the value of the items exceeded $950, in which case it could be a felony. Petty Theft offenses can carry a jail sentence of up to six months. Call me to discuss your case further.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Practicing throughout Southern California
    (310) 707-7131
    www.sethweinsteinlaw.com

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient... more
  5. Sagi Shaked

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Criminal defense attorney

  6. Robert Andrew Michael Burns

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Why did you load, and then leave in the store, a cart? Perhaps in that behavior there might have appeared to have been reasonable cause to contact you about suspected shoplifting. On the other hand, the security staff were reportedly restricted by security protocol from doing some/all of what he/she/they did to you. Assuming no arrest or citation, you would want to find a competent, local civil attorney with experience with the tort (civil offense) of false imprisonment in a consumer establishment setting. You'll want to log down everything you remember, identify the security staff involved, and try to find witnesses meanwhile. Good luck.

  7. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . get a PI lawyer you may have a good civil rights claim. You may also want to seek psych counseling.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,569 answers this week

2,857 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,569 answers this week

2,857 attorneys answering