I got caught stealing 10 dollars worth of stuff at Walmart today in Massachusetts. I feel really stupid, and I'm not a serial shoplifter, i've almost never done it. Anyway, they said I can never come in that store again, and made me sign something acknowledging that. But I was confused about the rest. They didn't call the police, so I guess they aren't gonna file charges, but they said they'll file a report with the state and they'll mail me a civil demand or something like that. What exactly is a civil demand. The security guard said it was to repay the store for damages I caused, but I didn't cause any damages cause the products were all sealed and returned, and he said the fine could be up to 500 dollars. If they send me this civil demand for a large amount, is it worth it to talk to a lawyer? or should I just pay up. The security guard also told me that if I came inside with him I could either give the product back or pay for it, but once I was back inside he wouldn't let me pay. I'm guessing he's allowed to lie to me though since I'm stealing from his store =(
I'm never stealing again, that's for sure. I learned my lesson and I'm glad it was a small enough amount that they didn't call the police.
Anyway, can someone explain this civil demand thing and what my rights/options are with it?