In the loss prevention investigation, can the information discussed be admissible in court? When asked if you would be arrested, the LP person said no, they then requested that a letter be written and told the person exactly what to write.
Criminal Defense Attorney
This is a very fact specific analysis, and more details would be necessary to be able to answer your question. Based on the fact that the officer told you explicitly you would not be arrested, it sounds like the Miranda warnings would not be required and what you wrote/said would be admissible. If you have a lawyer, have this conversation with him or her. If you don't have a lawyer, get one. Many shoplifting cases are eligible for a pretrial diversion program that results in dismissal of the case. Call me at 404-985-9772 if you'd like to discuss.
Whether the statement will be admissible depends on the specifics of the situation. However, your attorney may be able to still have the document discredited. The most important thing for you to do right now is get an attorney working with you to evaluate the evidence and circumstances, then fight to protect your rights.
Please let me know if I can be of assistance. I would be happy to help.
M. Jason Rhoades
Domestic Violence Lawyer
Both answers above are correct and you need a specific analysis that only comes from an in person meeting with an attorney. You should contact one immediately.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact an attorney in your area right away to discuss the case. It is quite possible, depending on your record, that you could qualify for a pre-trial diversion program or other options to try to keep the charge off your record. Don't delay in contacting an attorney.
Hernan Law Firm
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Sex Crime Attorney
The LP person is not a state actor, ie police, so it matters not whether the the loss prevention personnel Mirandized the accused or not, a private citizen has no duty to inform the accused of the 5th/6th Amendment. The letter is an admission against interest, even if it was drafted after the accused was seized or placed in custody by the LP personnel. The only caveat would be if an argument could be made the LP personnel was acting at the request of law enforcement or LE was present.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Mr. Ford is correct. There is no analysis needed other than whether the LP was acting on behalf of or at the request of law enforcement. You have no rights against self incrimination with private entities. If the police elicit a statement with promises or without informing you of your rights, you can get that statement suppressed. But if a private individual (or even a rent-a-cop like the LP) searches you or interrogates you, gets some incriminating evidence, and turns it over to the police, you are unfortunately going to be screwed with regard to that particular piece of evidence.
Legal disclaimer: Brian Tevis is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state-specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.