My daughter was caught shoplifting at Macy's. Loss Prevention brought her back into their office. They took down her information and apparently the amount she tried to shoplift was over their maximum amount for 17 year olds. Because she surpassed the certain amount (appx. $500) they gave her a pink envelope labeled "Civil Demand" requiring her to pay $425 and she was also handcuffed and sent to the PD in Torrance, CA. She did not go to jail but had her info. taken down as well as fingerprints and picture. This is her absolute first and last time shoplifting and her previous record is clean.
However, we are in no means to financially be able to pay the "Civil Demand" or hire an attorney and we are worried about her permanent record. She has to go to court in a month but what happens next?
Criminal Defense Attorney
You need to hire a criminal defense attorney ASAP in your area to represent her. The CRIMINAL charge is separate and distinct from the CIVIL demand letter. Get counsel to advise you. If you cannot afford an attoney, ask that a Public Defender be appointed at the first court appearance. You need competent legal advice in this matter.
I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..
Criminal Defense Attorney
I would expect that both you and your daughter will eventually receive a demand. The advice / suggestion here is usually to ignore them.
As for your daughter, she sould ask for n attorney as soon as she appears in court. The attorney should be told of the demand letter. It may or may not provide an avenue for a dismissal.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
The civil and criminal matters are totally different. Civil demand letters do not have an automatic need to be paid. They would have to be followed by a civil lawsuit. The criminal matter is totally different, and as my colleagues say, your daughter needs to request an attorney if you cannot afford one.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.