Legal Question in Criminal Law in Georgia

False arrest for shoplifting?

I was arrested for felony theft by shoplifting at a major mall/department store. I had selected several personal items (underwear, etc.) and felt uncomfortable holding them while I continued shopping, so I (now wishing I hadn't) placed the items in my open bag with the full intention to purchase them. A security guard accosted me inside the store without telling me who he was, nor why. I was scared and walked with him - figuring out the likely situation I told him that I was still shopping. He threatened me with jail if I lied. He said sugegstive comments to me when a female employee was not present, searched my bag, and bragged about a promotion that this would bring him. Is placing items in an open bag shoplifting (especially when the store provides no containers)? Do I have enought to sue for false arrest?

Asked on 4/27/01, 11:27 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Flinn Law Offices of T. Michael Flinn

Re: False arrest for shoplifting?

Store owners cannot be sued when they act reasonably. Was it reasonable for the store employee to beleive you may be shoplifting when you placed unpaid for items in your bag? I beleive the answer is yes and thatyour case is without merit.

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Answered on 6/19/01, 9:48 am
Robert Windholz Robert S. Windholz, Attorney At Law

Re: False arrest for shoplifting?

I have not researched the criminal charge but if you wish to sue the store, etc. you must get the criminal case dismissed or get a not guilty.

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Answered on 6/18/01, 1:43 pm

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