False Imprisonment After Accused of Shoplifting

Watch the Video: Being falsely accused of shoplifting can result in false imprisonment, giving the victim the ability to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for being wrongfully detained.  Whitney, LLP’s lawyers for false imprisonment and wrongful shoplifting accusations represent victims across Maryland and help recover compensation.

Victims of false shoplifting accusations, who are also often victims of racial profiling, have legal rights and should know they can fight back against security guards and store managers that touch them, take them to a room, hold them, block their car in, or otherwise detain and hold them with no legitimate basis to do so.

If you need a false imprisonment lawyer near me, Whitney, LLP’s false imprisonment attorneys offer Legal Consultations. 

Our attorneys have experience recovering filing lawsuits and recovering compensation for damages in false imprisonment and wrongful shoplifting accusation cases.

Call us at 410 583 8000 or use our Online Quick Contact Form, and we will be in touch.

Click here for more information on different types of false imprisonment claims.

Click here to read about our $100,000 settlement in a false imprisonment case against a car dealership that trapped a woman by blocking her in. 

Click here to view our YouTube channel and more of Whitney, LLP’s videos on False Imprisonment legal rights.

False Imprisonment By Mall Security Guards

Edited Transcript Below:

Hi, this is Dan Whitney with the Whitney Law Firm in Towson Maryland. Today, we’re going to talk about false imprisonment involving false shoplifting accusations. So I’m an attorney here in Maryland, I’ve been a lawyer for about 10 years. I handle false imprisonment cases against a variety of businesses, including car dealerships, other businesses, shopping malls, retail stores, and other establishments where the general public often goes and then leaves or tries to leave unless they’re stopped.

Wrongfully Accused of Shoplifting at the Mall

So today we’re going to talk about the issue of when somebody is falsely accused of shoplifting at a shopping mall and security gets involved, wrongfully, and ends up restraining that person and not letting them leave. So the first question is what is false imprisonment?

Well, essentially false imprisonment is restraining somebody’s freedom of movement without legal justification. And all that simply means is you are not letting somebody leave and you have no right to be preventing them from leaving.

Racial Profiling and False Imprisonment

So in a case involving a shopping mall, what often happens is a shopper or consumer will be minding their business and for some reason the security guards think that this person has stolen something. And oftentimes, unfortunately, it’s the result of racial profiling.

The security guards think that this person stole something, but they have no evidence. They just happen to think that because that person is a different color than they are, or perhaps a minority. And they just happened to have a prejudice and believe that the person stole something, without any evidence. Of course, that’s not enough to detain somebody.

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Detained and Restrained by Security Guards

Now, if a person is detained or held by a security guard at a mall it can happen in many different forms. It may happen that the person could be in a store and they are accosted by the guards and they’re taken to a back room and not allowed to leave.

That is false imprisonment if there is no legal basis to keep them. Or perhaps they get out to their car, they’re getting ready to leave and security comes, blocks them in, and even perhaps it blocks the front of their car in with the security vehicle and does not allow them to leave. That is also false imprisonment is no legal basis to keep them.

Compensation for False Imprisonment

So what victims of false imprisonment at shopping malls should know if they’re falsely accused of shoplifting is not only do they have legal rights, they have significant legal rights, and they have the ability to file a lawsuit against the security guards that wrongfully detained them.

Fortunately, the civil justice system recognizes that compensation should be awarded when somebody detains another person of their freedom of movement and liberty.

$100,000 False Imprisonment Settlement After Lawsuit

For example, we had a case recently against the car dealership, the dealership had blocked somebody in and refuse to let their customer, in this case a woman, leave because they wanted to force her to sign a contract that included terms she did not agree with. And she said, no, I’m leaving.

But instead, what they did is they actually blocked her in and wouldn’t let her leave until she called the police. The police came out and forced the car dealership to move their vehicle so this woman could leave.

In that case, we filed a lawsuit for false imprisonment and the car dealership ended up paying a $100,000. So of course the value of cases are different depending on the facts and the circumstances, every case is different. But the point is, if you’ve been a victim of false imprisonment and been wrongfully accused of shoplifting, you should know that you have significant legal rights and you’re not alone.

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Daniel W. Whitney, Sr. and Daniel W. Whitney, Jr. of Whitney, LLP

Lawyer for False Imprisonment and Shoplifting Accusations

Whitney, LLP’s attorneys help victims of false imprisonment fight back, file lawsuits and recover compensation for the humiliation, embarrassment and emotional distress of having your freedom taken away.

Call us at 410 583 8000 or use our Online Quick Contact Form for your Legal Consultation.

We represent individuals in false imprisonment claims across Maryland, including Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Frederick, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bethesda, Dundalk, Towson, Bowie, Aspen Hill and Wheaton.


“When others did not want to take my case Whitney, LLP was willing. Dan was very very patient with me and his communication was always on point no matter how he reached out. He helped me and my family start our lives all over, I thank him so much.”

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