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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Probable Cause

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas, was detained at Walmart for shoplifting and was told if I handed over merchandise they would not call police, I complied and handed over product from my purse, the security man then proceeded to search my purse found nothing, then was told to empty out contents of my purse in front of him, nothing found, next thing I know the police are there and searching my purse, so my question is was this a legal search on the police, dont see porbale cause the merchandise was already handed over and my purse searched twice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,060

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    You committed a crime. It was witnessed. That's all the probable cause the police need to search your purse and you, if they wanted to.

    The store employees are private citizens. Their search doesn't count.

    Even if the police search was illegal (and it's not) nothing else was found so there is nothing to suppress.

    Here's your life lesson from the school of hard knocks: If you don't want to be inconvenienced by the police, don't commit crimes.

    Especially stupid ones where the consequences are substantially greater than the value of the merchandise that you stole.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,726

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Quote Quoting Danadee71
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas, was detained at Walmart for shoplifting and was told if I handed over merchandise they would not call police, I complied and handed over product from my purse, the security man then proceeded to search my purse found nothing, then was told to empty out contents of my purse in front of him, nothing found, next thing I know the police are there and searching my purse, so my question is was this a legal search on the police, dont see porbale cause the merchandise was already handed over and my purse searched twice.
    Were you arrested?

    Was your purse confiscated by the police?


    Is there some issue that was the result of your purse being searched by the police?


    Depending on all the facts at hand there may or may not have been probable cause but again depending on the facts at hand, probable cause may not have been required to search the purse.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,544

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    It continues to baffle me why folks would not only post about their criminal activity on a public message board but also feel compelled to identify the victim of the crime (and especially when that victim is probably the largest retailer in the country that has a very large loss prevention department that may very well scour boards like this looking for folks who post stuff like this). Sigh....


    Quote Quoting Danadee71
    View Post
    was this a legal search on the police
    I'm not sure what "search on the police" might mean. In any event, since you were in custody for having committed a crime that you admitted, a search of your person was permissible. That the loss prevention person previously searched is irrelevant. Also, since you said nothing incriminating was found in the purse, it's a non-issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,147

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Probable cause doesn't enter into the search here. They appear to have plenty of probable cause for the arrest. Once you were being arrested, the officers are allowed to search you and your immediate possessions to make sure you are not carrying weapons that could be a danger to them. Just what the nature of the search of your bag would determine whether that search was properly conducted and what if any evidence obtained by that search would be excluded in court. However, prior to any of the searches, you'd already confessed and provided evidence of your guilt, so any subsequent searches, even if improperly conducted, won't change that.

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