Do you have to pay a civil fine for shoplifting in a walmart store?

Asked over 2 years ago - Greensboro, NC

Criminal courts advised them that it was a scam and that it was a criminal matter not civil. Called Walmart and they said it was criminal and walmart could come after them in a civil case also. To pay $150.00 or possibly $1000.00 if not paid in 15days. Help please as they have put a stop payment on a debit payment and disputing the other payment because they were told in court it was not a civil matter.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Dustin R. T. Sullivan

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . This is very common with Wal-Mart. Many of my clients also receive these letters as well. Basically, you are being asked to pay a "restitution" amount with the letter. The problem is, the Court is going to order you to pay any restitution owed if you plead guilty or are found guilty. Get an attorney, take the letter to the attorney, and ask them their opinion. It is not a scam but it is an attempt, in my opinion, to double dip on Wal-Mart's part.

    Call Trial Attorney Dustin RT Sullivan at (910) 508-2200 or visit us at to find out more.
  2. Damon John Chetson

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . The $150 civil fine requested as part of the civil demand letter is separate and apart from any restitution required as part of the criminal case. The restitution in the criminal case should only be for damage, destruction, or loss of merchandise by WalMart.

    You do face the possibility that if you fail to pay the $150 demanded (and permitted under civil statutes), the lawyer / WalMart can sue you. In reality, that's usually rare. But you do run that risk.

    Raleigh criminal lawyer Damon Chetson represents people in Raleigh, Cary,... more

Related Topics

Criminal defense

Criminal law establishes the classifications of crimes, how guilt or innocence is determined, and the types of punishment or rehabilitation that may be imposed.

Criminal court

A criminal court tries only criminal offenses, such as theft, assault and battery, or drug possession. Civil courts handle civil cases, such as lawsuits.

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