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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Shoplifted, Caught, 3wks Later No Letter

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: West Virginia

    After being escorted into an office my property was searched and my information and local address was collected, since I am currently out of my home state for school. Due to the fact that my shoplifting was unintentional I was told that I would just be fined $150 and the cost of the item. In the papers given to me, the Civil Restitution Customer Notice, it says I was to receive a letter within a few days with my fine outlined.
    Well, it's been exactly three weeks and I have not received a letter. On the restitution notice there is a phone number that I was told to call if I had any questions, which I have called three times and left three messages with my name, phone # and concerns, but have not been contacted. I first called a week ago, then two days later, and the last time was yesterday. Everytime I have called I am sent immediately to a voicemail system, which worries me that I may never be contacted.
    I am very concerned that I am not going to be given a chance to pay this fine. The loss prevention officers told me that if I didn't pay it that the sheriff's office would be notified and would come to my house. I have every intention of paying the fine and getting this mistake behind me, but with no one contacting me I am unsure of how to proceed and what I am liable for if I never receive the letter. I have also tried contacting the store in question's loss prevention officers, in hopes that they could make sure that the letter was in fact sent out, but their schedule is not given to the managers and they have no idea when they will be back.
    I am quite frantic about this situation. I am currently employed at a retail establishment and fear that with criminal action taken I could possibly be terminated or have this so called "civil restitution" turn into a criminal charge that will go on my record.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Shoplifted, Caught, 3wks Later No Letter

    If you don't receive a civil demand, you don't have to pay a civil demand. The loss prevention department is probably very busy and some people slip through the cracks. It can take weeks for the letter to show up, so it still might come; if it doesn't, consider yourself lucky.

    There's no way the sheriff will come out to your house over a civil demand except maybe to serve papers if you get sued; it's a civil demand; a matter for the civil courts.

    If you actually shoplifted, the store has a year to file criminal charges, and if you ignored a civil demand letter, they might choose to do that. However, if they're too busy to send out a civil demand, they're certainly too busy to file charges— the former brings in money to the store, the latter costs them money.

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