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What is the proper way to detain a shoplifters in wa state?

Yakima, WA |

I was caught shoplifting at Safeway at 1am (I was on ambien so details are a little.fuzzy) but as I paid for some items and left the store two security officers came.at me, pulled my purse from my hands and handcuffed me to a chair in a little room and then put an employee in the doorway. They then took my purse to another location without my permission to search me or my purse, though I requested they wait for law enforcement. I was trapped in this little room with one of the security people badgering me and "talking crap". I kept asking where my purse wad and they refused to tell me. I asked them to search it in my presence and he said that's not how they do things. I wasn't even allowed to go to the bathroom and they refused to loosen the handcuffs. Is this allowed?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

While the store has the authorization to reasonably detain a suspected shoplifter for a reasonable time, I doubt that the store personnel has the authorization to handcuff anyone.

Your stealing is wrong, both legally and morally. However, the actions of the store's personnel may give you a way to solve your legal problems.

You should promptly contact attorneys in your area to see what your legal options are. You can look up "false imprisonment".

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Asker

Posted

I know what I did was wrong and I have paid restitution to the store. This happened last Decembet. Is it too late to do anything? I only recently settled this case bc my court appt attorney told me to plead guilty and move on with my life. Great advise being that my professional career is over now.

Thuong-Tri Nguyen

Thuong-Tri Nguyen

Posted

If the criminal law case against you is done, it may not be practical to do anything about what the store may have done wrong back in December. If you settled the case with the store via the civil demand letter, you might have signed an agreement that you and the store agree to settle all causes of action against each other. If you signed that type of agreement, the agreement likely included an action based on false imprisonment. Restitution is generally what the criminal law court orders a convict to repay the victims. If you paid the store because of a restitution order from the court, you would not have signed away your right to sue the store. In general, you likely have three years from the date the store allegedly falsely imprisoned you to sue the store. If you pled guilty in the criminal law case without reaching an agreement with the prosecutor to eventually dismiss the case against you, you can still have the conviction vacate in three years after all the conditions of the criminal law case are done. You would have to meet statutory requirements. You should review the specific facts with your attorney to see if you have any legal options left.

Posted

You may have the facts for a civil law suit against the store so contact a civil litigator today.

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Posted

Given the facts, this situation may help negate your shoplifting charge.

Any accident and legal information provided by Davis Law Group to non-clients is for general information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created or maintained without a signed written agreement between the client and the law firm.

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