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Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407

By Colorado Theft Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 land Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407 are two of several theft based evidence based laws that are intended to aid in the prosecution of theft crimes – especially shoplifting. Hiding goods from view is evidence – without more -of the intent to commit a theft under this law. The questioning of suspected shoplifters under these circumstances is protected under the law. 

Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407

Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407


Here is the Law:

§ 18-4-406. Concealment of goods

If any person willfully conceals unpurchased goods, wares, or merchandise owned or held by and offered or displayed for sale by any store or other mercantile establishment, whether the concealment be on his own person or otherwise and whether on or off the premises of said store or mercantile establishment, such concealment constitutes prima facie evidence that the person intended to commit the crime of theft.

What Does The Law Mean? What Does Prima Facie Mean?

This law is used in court to establish that someone who puts an unpruchased item in their purse, pocket, in another package – or in any way conceals the merchandise is evidence of the intention to commit the crime of theft.  This gives authority to the store – through its security personell to stop – detain and arrest that person no matter what their ACTUAL intent is.

Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407 – Prima Facie Evidence

This rule allows for a permissible inference to be drawn from the alleged shoplifters actions. It oes not eliminate the prosecution’s burden of proving  the lement of intent to commit the theft beyond a reasonable doubt but DOES establish a permissible inference to be drawn from the acto f concealment.

Along with this law is another – equally important law addressing the right to question a suspect in this situation:

18-4-407. Questioning of person suspected of theft without liability.

If any person triggers an alarm or a theft detection device as defined in section 18-4-417 (2) or conceals upon his person or otherwise carries away any unpurchased goods, wares, or merchandise held or owned by any store or mercantile establishment, the merchant or any employee thereof or any peace officer, acting in good faith and upon probable cause based upon reasonable grounds therefor, may detain and question such person, in a reasonable manner for the purpose of ascertaining whether the person is guilty of theft.

Such questioning of a person by a merchant, merchant’s employee, or peace or police officer does not render the merchant, merchant’s employee, or peace officer civilly or criminally liable for slander, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or unlawful detention.

The Innocent Act and The Need For Legal Representation

It has been my experience – and I have defended cases on this basis – a young person – or an older person – a mother with screaming children – will enter a store – chooses a few items,  and not having access to a cart – places some of these items in a jacket or pants pocket intending to pay for them when they check out.

Before they can check out – store security – using both of theese laws detain that person, call the police, and that person is prosecuted for shoplifting under Colorado Revised Statutes 18-4-406. A lawyer may be able to assist in straightening this issue out..

Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407

Denver Colorado Theft Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR  – H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author hmichaelsteinberg@hmichaelsteinberg.com or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-227-7777.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407 – please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience –  specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range.  He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.  Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case.  So call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving .. the.Concealment of Goods 18-4-406 and Questioning of Persons Suspected of Theft 18-4-407.


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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