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

Answers:

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.


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