Will I be arrested, and will this go on my record? Can they fire me if I admit to nothing?

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Will I be arrested, and will this go on my record? Can they fire me if I admit to nothing?

I am a retail manager and have been accused of taking merchandise from the store I work at. I am on suspension pending an investigation with the Loss Prevention department at my store. They have interrogated me, and cannot find a record of my purchase. They are threatening to get the district attorney involved. I no longer have my receipt for the item in question, and the value is $400. I’m wondering what they can do to me. What will happen to my (clean) record? I live in New Mexico.

Asked on April 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Mexico

Answers:

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You said you had a receipt. It would have helped ease up the problems if you had it. But since you already lost it (like other shoppers do), it may have little or no significance because it is the job of the Loss Prevention Department to prove what they accuse you of. Remember, anyone can point an accusing finger to anybody. The burden of proof is theirs to bear, and not you proving otherwise.

What is their basis of accusation? Do they have a CCTV? Was the value of $400 being questioned equivalent to a single (one-time) purchase only or, of multiple purchases and dates of transaction? You will not be arrested for not admitting to an act you did not commit in the first place. It would be unjust if they fire you on the grounds of false accusation. Regarding your “clean” record, well, you are clean, unless proven guilty in Court.


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