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Was caught shoplifting at (dept. store)-what is going to happen to me

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Jinglebells, Dec 17, 2014.

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  1. Jinglebells

    Jinglebells Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Today I was caught shoplifting at (dept. store). I regret it and I feel horrible . I cannot eat or sleep and am making myself sick thinking about how stupid this was. In total, it was $32 worth of merchandise (2 items) . LP took me to a back room , asked me questions, and SS #, and made me sign a form which i barely even read because i was so nervous. they said to never come back to (dept. store) again, and that i am going to receive a letter in the mail in a week demanding 4 x the amount of product. the head LP man told me he would "let me go" and not go to the precinct if I was honest and they checked everywhere and I gave him the 2 items I took. They checked my bags and made sure I didn't take anything else. they took my picture and told me if I came back i could be arrested for trespassing. they then told me I was free to go. they said (dept. store) is going to sue me and I just have to pay that amount and never come back. My questions are:
    1) Does information that I was sued for stealing come up on any public record?
    2) Since it was not a criminal charge today and no police were called and i was "let go" … can the police arrest me later on, or could they press charges LATER on in the future (if i PAY the fine)
    3) what are the chances that I will have to go to court? Is suing the same as pressing charges? I am so clueless when it comes to this. it is my first and LAST time ever stealing. I feel sick.
    4) should i write a letter apologizing to the company?
    5) If i pay the fine immediately, what else can they do to me and will it affect my credit score?

    any nonjudgemental responses would be greatly appreciated, as i cannot sleep.
    I know it could be worse and $32 is not the end of the world, but I am worried that police will show up at my door and arrest me.
    thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2014
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Search this forum, your question has been asked and answered at least 1,000 times.
    The questions and the answers never change.

    Forget the police, you won't be arrested now or after for the disturbing event of which you posted.

    When you receive the DEMAND LETTER, that's when you'll really scream and shout. They'll DEMAND you pay upwards of $500 to $1,000. They rarely sue, if you acquiesce to their DEMANDS. They're really nice,too, bub. They allow you to pay their DEMAND in installments, plus EXTRA FEES AND COSTS.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  3. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    I removed the name of the store from your thread title & from your post - mainly for your own protection.
     
  4. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    I am a Retail Theft consultant and answer questions like yours daily so I will address yours

    1) Does information that I was sued for stealing come up on any public record?
    You have not been sued yet and wont if you pay what they ask.

    2) Since it was not a criminal charge today and no police were called and i was "let go" … can the police arrest me later on, or could they press charges LATER on in the future (if i PAY the fine)
    Yes but its very unlikely long as you pay. They have NOTHING to gain by filing if you pay.

    3) what are the chances that I will have to go to court? Is suing the same as pressing charges? I am so clueless when it comes to this. it is my first and LAST time ever stealing. I feel sick.
    No its not the same

    4) should i write a letter apologizing to the company?
    Not at this time no

    5) If i pay the fine immediately, what else can they do to me and will it affect my credit score?
    Once you pay its over
     
  5. Jinglebells

    Jinglebells Law Topic Starter New Member

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    thank you so much for your response.
    so you are saying i SHOULD pay the civil demand ? no matter what it is? (the post above you says it could be between 500- $1000!! (i do not have that kind of money)
    since it was $32 worth of merchandise is there a chance it can be lower?
    if I don't pay the civil demand , what happens?
     
  6. Jinglebells

    Jinglebells Law Topic Starter New Member

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    thank you for removing the name !
    and thank you for your quick response. i don't know how to search my question in this forum … I'm new to all of this.
    A lot of things I've read on the internet says i should not pay the civil demand, because it is "extortion" … so lawyers are telling clients NOT to pay it, and they will just keep getting harassed by the company to pay it. usually the company won't press charges because it will cost more to sue me than the $32 of merchandise i stole. (this is just what i have been reading)
    but the LP told me if i do not pay what the letter says, there will be a warrant out for my arrest.
    I just want this to be over. i don't have money to pay a lawyer. your $500-1000 quote scared me. i do not have that kind of money.
     
  7. Jinglebells

    Jinglebells Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Also, does anyone know if a civil demand can be paid in cash?
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A civil demand is simply a request for you to pay.
    A department store can't issue warrants.
    It's highly unlikely that if you ignore the demand, the store would attempt to pursue a criminal prosecution.
    Even if you ignored the demand, I know that here in Texas not one merchant has ever sued anyone civilly.
    If they did, they'd probably lose.
    If 3 out of 5 people pay up, that's pure profit for the merchant, a hefty profit, too.
    I don't know what the "pay or ignore" rate actually is, but I bet it's about 30% paying, 70% ignoring.
    We can't advise you to pay, or not to pay.
    You've done your research, now you must choose.
    The EXACT amount demanded will be made known to you in the letter you are said to receive.
    The amount demanded has little to do with the retail price of the item(s) allegedly stolen.
    In your case, nothing was taken or destroyed.
    The items have presumably been placed out on display, available to someone to buy.
    Do the math, friend, I have.
    So, relax, await the letter. When the letter arrives, read it, think about it, decide.
    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  9. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Civil Demand is state law. If you fail to pay there can be serious long term consequences. Read this http://www.parentnook.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=161&t=3934 its up to you to pay or not. It depends on how much you want to gamble the store wont take further action. How much depends on many factors but if I had to guess (its only a guess) your Civil Demand should be around $300.00 remember this is a guess. You can make payment arrangements to pay this just make very certain you pay and pay on time. Remember there are many negatives the store can take if you fail to pay. I cannot say what if any they might use but they can legally. As stated I am a Retail theft consultant and answer questions like yours from people like you daily. I have work with and spoken to these firms as well as seen others who have felt the wrath for not paying. Where the chances are low they do exist
     
  10. Jinglebells

    Jinglebells Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for helping me out in this forum - i really appreciate it.

    i got the civil demand letter in the mail today , from the department store's lawyer. They are demanding $200. I am going to pay it in full , tomorrow.

    I have read in many cases as i am researching all of this, that the LP people that detained me have the right to lie to me to get me to confess and don't always have to be honest. they said if i DONT PAY, a warrant will be out for my arrest . (Is that a threat, or will they call the cops if i don't pay?)

    MY main worry is this: i was so nervous when i was signing the papers that I don't even know what i was signing. stupid, i know. but they have my SS number and I'm scared of what may happen in the future. Since i am paying the civil demand, and it was only $32 worth of merchandise, it's not likely that the police will try to come find me and/or press criminal charges, correct?

    I just don't know what i signed, if i signed a paper that gave me a court date i wouldn't even know. I was so nervous i just scribbled my name .

    Should I call the store and ask what their procedures are if i pay the civil demand?
     
  11. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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