If you are stopped walking out of the grocery store from their security person for leaving the store without paying for merchand

Asked over 4 years ago - Woodbury, NJ

if you are stopped walking out of the grocery store from their security person for leaving the store without paying for merchandise, A) does he have the right to handcuff and search you and B) upon his search he finds a straw and a tiny bag of cocaine which these were located in the very little pocket right above the regular pocket on a pair of jeans meaning that he was going beyond checking for other merchandise as that little pocket is very smal. I live in New Jersey and shouldnt the search been done by a police officer after reading me my rights. I was charged with possession of CDS along with possesion of drug parraphanila and leaving the store with unpaid merchandise. Thank you so much for your time I greatly appreciate it

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Purav Bhatt

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . First, the grocery store security has the ability to detain you for a reasonable time and using reasonable force to determine if you had any merchandise on you. You may have a challenge to the discovery of the drugs if the grocery store security can articulate what he thought/saw you take from the store and whether what you allegedly took could have fit in your small pocket. If you were accused of taking a dozen eggs, you may have an argument against him searching your small pocket.

    Keep in mind that every state has different laws and procedures so NJ may operate differently than my experience in Illinois. You should speak with an attorney regarding this matter.

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