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Caught stealing from Walmart, sent a fine from the store... was told by security if I dont pay a warrant will be issued?

Streator, IL |

I got caught stealing from Walmart, they took me into this little room and entered all my info into a computer, took my ID info, took my pic and had me sign a paper and told me I'm not allowed back in any Walmart. They told me that a fine would be sent to me ranging from 50-1000 dollars... They also told me that if I don't pay it within like 30 days of getting it, Walmart will have a warrant issued for my arrest... is that possible? It's a $300 fine which is my income to support me and my 3 kids each month that is all I get. I don't want to be worrying about getting arrested because I didn't pay Walmarts fine, plus the paper got lost while I was moving so I don't even know the info.

Also, I was arrested and released without bail with a courtdate.

Attorney Answers 3


The fine is a civil matter which Illinois permits. Many people choose to ignore that demand and most of the time the letters stop after 2 or 3. A security guard does not have the authority to issue a warrant for your arrest. Since you already have a court date, you have already been arrested for (presumably) retail theft. Please retain a criminal defense attorney. S/he will also know how to handle those annoying demand letters.

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They will send you more letters. We typically advise clients to ignore them if the law firm is from out of town. Whether you paid it or not will have no effect on the criminal case you have. Your money would be better spent on a lawyer for the case, or if you are indigent ask for a public defender.

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There's a better, more cost-effective way to deal with the demand letter than simply paying, or ignoring, it. A claim denial letter supported by Illinois law usually does the trick. Regarding what the security guard said, a warrant will ONLY be issued for you if you fail to appear in court on your court date. Based on what you have said about your finances, you should have a PD appointed to represent you. Ask him/her about the theft diversion program that will allow you to attend a class and obtain a dismissal of the criminal charge. Free consultation is available.

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