Interviewer: That sounds like good advice. Do you handle cases where people have been accused of taking something but they actually haven't? If so, what should people do in that case?
Ladan Law: I've had many of those cases. I've had a case where a Wal-Mart store personnel accused somebody of taking something. We actually had a jury trial on that issue and the jury determined that the loss prevention officer or the manager simply had observed something that was taken out of context and that person was acquitted.
There are many cases where somebody has made a return or has forgotten their wallet in the car and they wheeled their merchandise to the front and leave it there while they retrieve something from the car. If that happens, they can be accused of committing a theft because they've passed all points-of-sale. That's a common observation that we have with some clients who were accused but end up not being convicted for theft.
Interviewer: Is there any kind of advice, in those situations or, after the fact, not much you can do besides the defense?
Ladan Law: My advice is the same: be courteous, be cooperative to a point. Certainly, don't say anything that's incriminating against you and very respectfully say that you believe that this is a matter that should be better handled after you had the opportunity to talk to an attorney. Most people will respect that statement.