I agree with my colleague. The time for attacking the criminal aspect of this issue was during the arraignment. Now only a civil issue remains.
She may be able to sue Macy's for false imprisonment, however the odds of recovery are slim because she signed a legal release document, paid a fine, and received an ACD. Those facts together may be construed as an admission to the crime turning a potentially-false imprisonment into just an imprisonment.
You should retain an attorney to review the release because it's contents are essential to your potential case.
Call (718) 375-3750 if you wish to speak with an attorney.
Re-post in civl litigation.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
Your damages here may not be worth a lawsuit but I agree with learned counselors who advised you to shop the case, you will pardon the expression, around to civil litigators.
Law Office Of Michael Marley
Phone 917 853 4484
Having successfully handled false arrest/imprsonment cases in stores previously, I am of the opinion that you would nto have a successful civil case against Macy's. The papers Macy's had her sign include an admission that she committed the criminal act alleged against her. Even though you seek to explain away her doing so based on language difficulty, etc., that argument is not strong enough to overturn the fact that she signed the papers (too many nuances to go into detail here). Then, if she went to criminal court and took a plea admitting to the crime again, that would be twice that she made that admission. Note that the statutes of NY permit a retailer to take reasonable steps to detain a shoplifter and by admitting to the act (language or not) she essentially supported a finding that Macy's acted reasonably. That takes care of the fase imprisonment claim. The false arrest claim also disappears with the one if not two admissions of guilt (language or not). Further, an "adjournment in contemplation of dismissal" (ACD) is not a dismissal of a criminal charge on the merits - it is a procedural disposition - and will not by itself support a claim of false arrest.