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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Consequences and Punishments for Shoplifting

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    I'm 19 years old. I was caught shoplifting for the first time at a CVS in my neighborhood, about $30 worth of things, on my way out of the store. The LP officer took me into a room, and got a photocopy of my driver's license, as well as my cell and home phone number (I don't live at home), my mother's name, and my home address. After telling me that I would be banned from all CVS stores and telling me to expect a letter from the company lawyer, he allowed me to leave.

    On my way home, I received a call from the store, but I was unable to answer it. I know it was from the store because I had called a few hours earlier asking a few questions clarifying my situation. Should I be worried that I couldn't answer it? What was the call for?

    Personally, I would really like to fix all of these things on my own, without having to worry my parents about it. Even though they have let me go now, would the police be involved at some point? How much would the fines add up to? If I do have to pay fines, how much time would I have to get the money? Will I have to appear in court? Would I have to pay for a lawyer or attorney? I believe that an attorney would be assigned to me if I cannot afford one, is this true? And would this be helpful?

    I've also heard that sometimes the company involved does not even send a letter to the thief, is this true?

    Sorry for all of the questions, I'm just really scared. I've never gotten into any trouble at all before this, and I really would not like this to go on my record.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Consequences of Shoplifting at Cvs

    Expect a letter. It is called a Civil Demand notice. It covers the costs of them detaining you, filing reports, and of course...a little portion goes to the surveillance equipment the store needs to catch shoplifters.

    I don't know your states exact amounts, but $250 is usually a good starting point. It needs to be paid asap.

    You called them, then was not able to answer the call...you should call back and be sure to take the call.

    IF they file criminal charges, you can apply for a Public Defender. Just be aware it is not "free"....there is a cost ($300 where I live).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Consequences of Shoplifting at Cvs

    What happens if I don't receive the Civil Demand notice? I recently moved to a newly-developed community that doesn't show up on GPS. All of my online orders don't get shipped to my address, and I've even had slight problems getting a credit card because my address doesn't show up anywhere. I tried explaining my address problem to the LP officer, and he thought that I was just trying to get out of giving him my real address. Will this have any consequences for me? If so, what can I do to prevent/fix this?

    Is there anything like a payment plan I can do in order to pay the fine?

    Also, do you know what the call would be about?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Consequences of Shoplifting at Cvs

    "I tried explaining my address problem to the LP officer, and he thought that I was just trying to get out of giving him my real address." Because a lot of shoplifters try this same tactic.......

    If you don't pay the Civil Demand:

    - They send you a few letters, with the amount increasing.
    - Still not paid? They take you to Civil Court and add in Attorney Fees.
    - WHEN they get the judgment against you and it is still not paid....your credit history takes a nasty hit. It's now an unpaid bill.

    As for the call from the store? I'm not psychic. It may be to tell you that they have decided to press charges or not press charges...(the above Civil Demand is a separate issue)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Consequences of Shoplifting at Cvs

    Okay, that's scary. Is there any way to make sure that the letter will get to my address? Because with my shipping orders for online items, I'd sometimes have to go to the nearest UPS location just to pick it up. I've asked the LP officer several questions about the letter and my consequences, and he'd always answer that I'd find out when I'd get the letter. But if I never get the letter in the first place, I can't really do anything. And would they increase the fine in that case too, or would I be able to petition against it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Consequences of Shoplifting at Cvs

    It's up to you to make sure that mail comes to you. Call LP and give them the correct address to mail it to you.

    Yes, if you don't get the letter, the fine can still increase. Besides, a lot of criminals will claim "I never received it" when in fact, they simply threw it away.

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