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J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
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Help Police came to my house and told me to come into the

Customer Question

Help? Police came to my house and told me to come into the station in the next couple of days to discuss a shoplifting incident at a grocery store. And the officer took a picture of me before they left my apt.

Incident? Was followed in the grocery store, I put back the food before I left the store but they followed me out of the store and said they called the police. I left and they took my plates. As I left the store said they have me on tape? How do I know if this is true? What should I do? They said that they have seen me do this before and have it on tape.

Never had more than a speeding ticket, I am scared to talk to police and incriminate myself...but I'm not working/I have no income right now. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 7 years ago.

You don't have to respond to a request to the police for an interview. If they had enough to charge you they would get a warrant and force you to appear in court. Until that time, I would not voluntarily provide any information or othewise assist the police.


Now that they have your identity and different video footage to compare, they may be able to ID you in the previous footage. However, having experience with store surviellence camera issues, I can tell you that such footage is usually inconclusive. Faces and other identifying information is usually so blurry that the authorities can't use the video. Again, they might be better off now with your photograph and the ability to compare the two episodes of footage, but there likely remain identification issues that pose an obstacle to them.


Moreover, your recent encounter with them is not a crime. You did not leave the premises with any unpaid for merchandise, so they don't have a case against you for that episode.


Therefore, I would not assist them further unless there is a warrant or subpoena mandating my response. At that point, I would not proceed without an attorney.



Please let me know, if you have follow-up questions.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Should I not even call the police back to say I won't be able to come in? I don't wish to incriminate myself but I just don't want to make myself look guilty? Sorry really nervous here and can't imagine having this turn into a case and eliminating me from a future job. So just ignore the request from the police?
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 7 years ago.
You can simply respond (they probably have an email address on their business cards) saying that you deny any implication and, on advice of counsel, you will not be meeting with them.

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