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Your initial rights if stopped by security for shoplifting

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If store security stops you for shoplifting in Oklahoma, you have certain rights. It is important to handle the situation calmly and know how to protect yourself.

Retailers have the right to detain a person if they have reasonable grounds to believe that shoplifting has occurred. However, there are limitations to their authority.

You can document the incident

If stopped for shoplifting, it is within your rights to document the incident. While remaining calm and cooperative, consider using your smartphone to take pictures or videos. Capture the surroundings, the individuals involved and any interactions with store security. This documentation may serve as valuable evidence should you need to dispute the accusations later.

You have the right to remain silent

One of the fundamental rights you possess in this situation is the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer any questions posed by store security. Exercise caution in your interactions, as anything you say could become evidence against you in a courtroom.

You should know the reason for detention

Store security must have probable cause to believe that shoplifting has occurred before detaining you. Probable cause might include direct observation of theft by store personnel, video surveillance documentation or the direct observation of another customer. You have the right to know why you are being stopped and what they have based their suspicion on.

You can refuse searches

You have the right to refuse searches by store security. In some cases, security may ask for consent to search your belongings. It is within your rights to decline such requests to protect your privacy.

Oklahoma courts convicted 12,516 people for shoplifting in 2022. If you find yourself getting stopped by store security, it is important to know what to do.