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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to Court

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Massachusetts
    Age: 18
    First time, clean record.

    I am so scared, please help me.

    It was my first time shoplifting and I'm feeling really ashamed of myself. I stole 4 items which costed $157 all together. It was a dress, cardigan, and two make-up.

    Honestly, a few days ago...I was with my little sister and she told me she really liked that dress but we both didn't have the money to buy it. My mom recently got laid off so my family doesn't really have much income..and my mom gambles a lot. My sister has a school dance today (I got caught yesterday) and I thought I would...well...take it. I really wanted her to go because I've never had a chance to...but now I feel disgusting and dirty for doing it.

    For the two make-up, I was really going to pay for it because I had just enough but one of the lady asked if I was going to pay for it and I got scared so i made an excuse that I was still looking around...It's my fault. I know.

    When I was about to leave, the LP lady stopped me and told me to go back to the office. I didn't resist and did what she told me to. She asked me why i did it and other questions but I was so scared so all I said was "I don't know."

    She took my ID and picture. Told me to never come into Macy again. She gave me some papers to sign saying that I would not come into Macy again or I will be arressted. (I'm not sure if the papers that I signed were papers that said I stole or something...I was too scared to read. I just did whatever she told me to.)

    She didn't call the police and I wasn't arrested. she didn't tell me that I have to pay some civil fee that I've been reading about which is $500. Before she let me go, she said that I will be receiving a court letter in the mail and said I should go. I will...

    Right now, I'm just scared...and I'm doing a whole bunch of research.

    1) What will happen next?
    2) Is this already on my record? If so, will it be there forever?
    3) I've read it somewhere...Macy's won't be the one pressing charges on me but the police will...Is this true?
    4) Since I am 18, will they contact my mom? I'm not planning to tell my mom.

    I'm really paranoid and I learned my lesson. Can anyone just tell me something about what will happen to me? Please help...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    It will be State of MA vs you.

    You will have a Criminal Record, unless you are eligible for a First Time offenders program, or Diversion Program.

    You need either a lawyer....or plead Not Guilty and ask for a public defender (not free).

    You can expect the Civil Demand; courts costs and fines; costs for lawyer or public defender. If you get Community Service or a program, that will cost money, too. All in all, be happy if it costs less than $2000.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Miami Beach
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    Just because you weren't taken out of the store in handcuffs doesn't mean you weren't arrested. Every town in every state may handle shoplifting arrests differently. Some towns the police show up and physically take custody of the shoplifter. Other towns have the LP Detectives come down and sign charges independently which sounds like the case here. Either way it's the same as if the police took you out in handcuffs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boston, Mass
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    Quote Quoting Sigh
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Massachusetts
    Age: 18
    First time, clean record.

    I am so scared, please help me.

    It was my first time shoplifting and I'm feeling really ashamed of myself. I stole 4 items which costed $157 all together. It was a dress, cardigan, and two make-up.

    Honestly, a few days ago...I was with my little sister and she told me she really liked that dress but we both didn't have the money to buy it. My mom recently got laid off so my family doesn't really have much income..and my mom gambles a lot. My sister has a school dance today (I got caught yesterday) and I thought I would...well...take it. I really wanted her to go because I've never had a chance to...but now I feel disgusting and dirty for doing it.

    For the two make-up, I was really going to pay for it because I had just enough but one of the lady asked if I was going to pay for it and I got scared so i made an excuse that I was still looking around...It's my fault. I know.

    When I was about to leave, the LP lady stopped me and told me to go back to the office. I didn't resist and did what she told me to. She asked me why i did it and other questions but I was so scared so all I said was "I don't know."

    She took my ID and picture. Told me to never come into Macy again. She gave me some papers to sign saying that I would not come into Macy again or I will be arressted. (I'm not sure if the papers that I signed were papers that said I stole or something...I was too scared to read. I just did whatever she told me to.)

    She didn't call the police and I wasn't arrested. she didn't tell me that I have to pay some civil fee that I've been reading about which is $500. Before she let me go, she said that I will be receiving a court letter in the mail and said I should go. I will...

    Right now, I'm just scared...and I'm doing a whole bunch of research.

    1) What will happen next?
    2) Is this already on my record? If so, will it be there forever?
    3) I've read it somewhere...Macy's won't be the one pressing charges on me but the police will...Is this true?
    4) Since I am 18, will they contact my mom? I'm not planning to tell my mom.

    I'm really paranoid and I learned my lesson. Can anyone just tell me something about what will happen to me? Please help...
    Hi Sigh--

    I had cases before with Macy's--they usually require you to admit to the charges after they catch you. Any department store has an unbelievable amount of anti-theft mechanisms in place, they catch most everybody.

    You'll get a notice for a clerk's hearing unfortunately. Did they receive everything back?

    if you have no record, you may be able to get a favorable disposition called "Pretrial probation," but it's not easy and not given out by DA's office in many counties. What county are you in (Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, etc.).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    Hello AttyHelinski,

    I am in the Suffolk County. I received my clerk's hearing letter and a civil demand letter of $500. I'm planning to pay for the civil demand. Can you tell me how your case ended? and yes they took all the items back.

    What do you think my punishment would be if I plead guilty? I currently have two jobs because I was trying to save money to pay everything but the thing is, my mom isn't employed and so my family is going through some financial problems. One place I work at is a youth development non-profit organization where I am a trip leader and it's a place to keep youths off the street and promote diversity. If I show them proof that I've been keeping myself busy and not getting into trouble.....do you think it will help me or will it be useless?


    Thank You so much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    I think it will be helpful to show you have paid the civil demand/made arrangements (my lawyer had me bring the proof, in a manila folder). Also, your pay stubs may help.

    Do not plead guilty.

    Plead Not Guilty and ask for a Public Defender. Ask the PD about a pre-trial diversion program.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    View Post
    I think it will be helpful to show you have paid the civil demand/made arrangements (my lawyer had me bring the proof, in a manila folder). Also, your pay stubs may help.

    Do not plead guilty.

    Plead Not Guilty and ask for a Public Defender. Ask the PD about a pre-trial diversion program.
    If I represent myself, what are the chances that they would give me a diversion program or is that even out of the question because the PD are the ones to do the negotiations?

    Thank You

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    You need a PD or a lawyer. Representing yourself is not a good idea....compare it wrestling with a Zumo wrestler when you have no experience.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    Is it worth getting a lawyer? Especially if guilty since the cost could outweigh the fine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,888

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting at Macy's but Did Not Get Arrested, Told I Would Be Going to C

    The civil demand isn't the fine. The lawyer is to help you with the criminal sanctions (jail is possible but unlikely, probation, court costs, criminal record).

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