Miranda Warnings vs. Retailers

I am frequently asked by shoplifters and retailers alike about retail security giving shoplifters their "Miranda" rights. Shoplifters ask - The store security did not advise me of my Miranda rights. Can I beat this in court? My answer is more than likely no.

For those who are not aware what Miranda rights are, in 1966 the United States Supreme Court ruled that police officers must give criminal suspects ( people who the police suspect of committing a crime) the following warning before they are questioned:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have that attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you at government expense.

The reason I say more than likely no is because off-duty police officers employed by retailers and private loss prevention staff working under the auspices of law enforcement officers are still required to advise shoplift suspects of their Miranda rights. Some retailers require their loss prevention staffs to give Miranda warnings as part of their policy and procedures. My opinion that this is a bad practice as such a policy could lead to the restriction of private enterprise.

I have heard, but yet to confirm, of local courts requiring retail security members to give shoplift suspects Miranda warnings. You should check with your local court system.


Curtis Baillie - Security Consulting Strategies, LLC