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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default Paying a Civil Demand After Getting Caught Shoplifting

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I was caught shoplifting in lord & taylor. i was served with papers stating that i was banned from lord & tayler & that they would be making a civil claim against me to recover the cost of item & i dont know what else i signed. The police was not called. I wasn't arrested and the police weren't involved
    I have few questions:-

    First being:- The LP officer told me that i will get a civil demand letter of 380$ & i have to pay it & i agreed to that. After almost 2 months i got a letter from michael ira asen.but the fine is 500$. I have just380$ , except that i dont have any money to pay. pls advice me what to do.
    Secondly :- Is paying money a kind of admission of guilt ,can they bite me criminally ?

    Thirdly :- how should i pay , can i pay them cash ? Do i have to write anything to them so that they cannot press any criminal charges on me.

    My action was extremely out of my character & iam deeply shocked & depressed about it.I'm extremely scared and nervous about what they could do.this unpleasant experience weigh too heavily on me.pls advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,254

    Default Re: I Was Caught Shoplifting in Lord and Taylor

    You don't have to worry about criminal proceeding. If they wanted to pursue criminal charges there's already more than enough evidence against you at the time LP detained you for the Commonwealth to convict you. If they didn't file a complaint right then and there (you would have heard by now), they aren't likely to.

    Paying the demand isn't going to affect your criminal charges one way or another. What you're gambling with is whether they will sue you if you don't pay. You can contact the "lawyers" that wrote that letter and explain your situation (you were told $380 and you only have $380) and see if they will settle. Frankly, I think $500 is an illegal amount to be asking for (what did you steal and how much did it cost?).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Paying a Civil Demand After Getting Caught Shoplifting

    If the LP said the civil demand was for $380, you were probably attempting to steal $190 worth of merchandise with the LP unaware of the statutory limit on the civil demand.

    It's possible that the civil demand says that you will have to pay $500 ($350 plus $150 in legal fees and costs) if a legal action is filed. The statute does not provide for the additional recovery of attorney fees and costs unless the store prevails in a civil action (which they can bring if you don't voluntarily pay).

    If you have more details, please share them.
    Quote Quoting Virginia Code, Sec. 8.01-44.4. Action for shoplifting and employee theft.
    A. A merchant may recover a civil judgment against any adult or emancipated minor who shoplifts from that merchant for two times the unpaid retail value of the merchandise, but in no event an amount less than $50. However, if the merchant recovers the merchandise in merchantable condition, he shall be entitled to liquidated damages of no more than $350.

    B. A merchant may recover a civil judgment against any person who commits employee theft for two times the unpaid retail value of the merchandise, but in no event an amount less than $50. However, if the merchant recovers the merchandise in merchantable condition, he shall be entitled to liquidated damages of no more than $350.

    C. The prevailing party in any action brought pursuant to this section shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees and costs not to exceed $150....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Paying a Civil Demand After Getting Caught Shoplifting

    I don't know the value of merchandise but no legal action had been filed at that time.

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