My question involves criminal law for the state of: NY
My girlfriend & I were caught shoplifting in JC Penny Last month, LP detained us in the store & the cops were called. they did not take us to the station or jail, but the cop told us we were "arrested" we were also assigned a court date. This is our 1st offense ever! we have no prior record for anything. My total amount = $50.00 & hers was $200.00.
In the interim of being caught & present time, we received a letter from the attorneys office that represents JCP which stated that they were "considering proceeding with a civil penalty claim" & if we want to settle this matter we should pay them a fine/penalty amount & once they receive the $ the civil penalty claim will be released. According to the Representative i spoke with @ the law firm, she said that yes, if we paid JCP wouldn't come after us further. I have already submitted my check, my friend has not.
Although JCP will release the civil claim, we would still have to appear in court to "face the state." Is it correct in saying that even though we paid the fee to JCP we still will have fees by the court impended on us?
We have no idea what to expect in court, we can not afford a private attorney. We are both worried about having a record/jail time. We both want this whole ordeal over & done with as painless as possible
PLEASE HELP! WHAT DO WE DO!!