Detention Of Suspected Violators By Merchant
Under Utah criminal code 76-6-603, merchants who suspect that a person has committed retail theft are allowed to detain them. However, this can only be done in a reasonable matter and for a reasonable amount of time for specific purposes. Note that off-premises detention is only permitted if it is vital to the immediate pursuit of the person.
The merchant is allowed to detain this individual for the following reasons:
- Investigation and inquiry about the unpaid for merchandise;
- Identification request and verification;
- Ask the suspected violator to display items that have been removed;
- Inform the peace officer of the detention and relinquish the person to the officer’s custody; and
- In cases of minor children to inform the police or the parents or legal guardians of the child’s detention.
If you have been detained for a theft offense, it may be in your best interests to have an attorney present. Whatever the circumstances may be, an attorney can help ensure that your constitutional rights are not infringed and help you avoid self incrimination.
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