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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    7

    Default What Should You Do if You're Caught Shoplifting

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California. I was caught shoplifting @ target. I don't know what I was thinking but I I'm so sorry. I don't have a record or have ever gotten in trouble. They brought me to the back room & took back the stuff & took my picture & thumbprint & gave me a citation to appear in court. I'm so terrified I can't afford an attorney. They didn't call the police or arrest me but I don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Help

    If the police did not respond, how did you get a citation to appear in court? A citation is a promise to appear in court in lieu of a custodial arrest.

    So, if you were cited into court for a misdemeanor criminal offense, you will have the right to a court appointed attorney if you cannot afford one. What was the code section cited on the citation?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help

    I'm sorry it doesn't say citation but shoplifting araignment notice for 490.5 & that I will get something in the mail for when to appear. It was such a stupid thing I did but I'm terrified. I don't wanna go to jail. I've never been in trouble for anything before.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Help

    That's shoplifting. You may be in one of those counties where they permit the merchant to file the info with the police who will the file with the DA.

    If charged, you can get a court appointed attorney.

    Fines, restitution, and probation are the likely outcome if filed on and convicted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help

    I don't have anything on the paper saying when to appear in court?? They told me I was gonna be getting some fines in the mail. I don't understand what will be coming in the mail.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,594

    Default Re: Help

    Depending on the process in your county, you may get a summons into court (i.e. a court date) in the mail when and if the police forward the matter to the DA and the DA files with the court. The business will also likely be sending you a civil demand notice for between $50 and $500 which will be in addition to anything that might happen if you go to court.

    I wish I could see that notice you received, that might tell me whether it si some sort of precurosr filing or something that the store gives you saying that a civil demand will be on its way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    7

    Default Re: Help

    It says it is a shoplifting araignment notice with a police report number.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Help

    Quote Quoting SoSorry1234
    View Post
    It says it is a shoplifting araignment notice with a police report number.
    I can only assume it was one of the notices that merchants use to forward the info to the police for a report and a filing. Since I have never worked in a county where such a system is in place, i cannot say for sure what happens. But, before you can go to court the police will have to forward the report to the DA, the DA will have to decide to file charges with the court, and you will either receive a summons or they will issue an arrest warrant (most likely if they do not have your correct address).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    7

    Default Re: Help

    It says warrant will be issued if I fail to appear in court.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Help

    Quote Quoting SoSorry1234
    View Post
    It says warrant will be issued if I fail to appear in court.
    But, if it does not have a court date, it kinda makes it tough to appear in court.

    What county are you in?

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