Can I get my petit theft case dismissed if I wasn’t read my Miranda rights before I was questioned?

I was not caught stealing; I was with someone who was caught. While

questioning him, the loss prevention person saw me have something in my

hand and I turned around and then back around and my hand was empty. I had already been to my vehicle and had nothing on me. I was asked what I did with the stuff in my hand and the person who was caught said that I gave

it to him. The loss prevention guy then yelled at me and I said it’s in the car and went and brought the item in. A 4 pair of boxers. They gave me a notice to appear and let me go but the arrest box is checked. They didn’t catch me but I admitted and I was never read my rights. Can I beat the charge?

Asked on March 5, 2016 under Criminal Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The Miranda warning need only be given once a person is taken into cutody and then questioned. However, you were never taken into custody by law enforemnt; loss prevention personeel are not the police.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, based on what you write, it appears that you admitted what you did to the loss prevention officer. The loss prevention officer is not actually a police officer--but the Miranda ruling only applies to questioning by police officers (including sheriffs, FBI agents, state troopers, etc.). If you admitted what you did to a loss prevention officer, the failure to Mirandize you will not help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.