A frequent question raised by potential shoplifting clients concerns the manner in which they were detained and questioned by store security or police. The embarrassment of being stopped in a store can quickly escalate into a much more intense situation as a result of the approach taken by a security officer or police. Our lawyers will provide you with the answers to the uncomfortable questions you possess. Initial consultations with an attorney are always without charge so you should not hesitate to contact us now at 877-450-8301.
New Jersey Shoplifting Detention and Arrest Law
The Law in NJ sets forth rules for the arrest of those accused of shoplifting. These rules apply where a security officer, law enforcement or merchant possesses probable cause to believe that a theft has occurred. Probable cause exists where there is a reasonable basis to conclude that an individual has committed a shoplifting. Where there is probable cause to believe that merchandise has willfully been concealed, merchants, security and police are empowered to take an individual into custody. The process of taking an individual into custody must be done in a reasonable manner and for not more than a reasonable time. Merchants and police are immune from criminal and civil liability for an arrest, detention or interrogation provided they possess probable cause to believe a theft occurred and take custody in a reasonable manner (e.g. reasonable time period, reasonable force, etc.). This immunity and the ability to exercise custody is limited, however, to situations where shoplifting has occurred in the presence of the merchant, security officer or police.
If you were detained by a store security officer or merchant, a lawyer from our office is available to discuss your experience. We realize how upsetting an arrest for shoplifting can be and just how aggressive individuals can get. An attorney is available immediately to assist you.