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Got caught shoplifting for the first time. im not sure what to do. do i need a lawyer?

Tomball, TX |

today i made the very stupid decision to shoplift a few items from walmart. i had never done it before and i got caught at the door trying to take a bracelet, foux earrings and some nailpolish all adding up to about $10-$14 worth of merchandise. Since it was the first time i had ever tried and got caught they told me they wouldnt get the police involved. They put me in their system and took all my information. however they also told me i was going to be receiving a letter in the mail stating i was going to be sued by the company from $500-$25,000. Now my questions are; if i do have to pay will the fine be that significantly large? And is there any chance at all that i will be arrested in the meantime?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. These letters go out all the time. I have never seen a client pay the demand and I have never seen someone sued over it. Also, the limit of liability in Texas is $1000 if they actually sued you and won. It won't go on your credit report unless they actaully sued you and got a judgment.


  2. It appears that you have skated on the criminal aspect of this matter. Most attorneys tell clients not to pay on the civil demand letter.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida. If you wish to contact the above attorney, see his profile at this website.


  3. It appears that they have given you a pass on the criminal side for this time. They probably did this because the amount was under $100 and the lowest misdemeanor violation. However, keep in mind that they have you in their system and will not let it pass again.

    If they send you a civil demand letter asking for any amount, you should not pay it. If they sue you in civil court, you should immediately get an attorney to assist you with your defense. Good luck!

    My response herein is an attempt to give you general information and direction and is not intended to constitute an attorney-client relationship as perceived by state law.


  4. See my response to your other post.

    *** The fact that you solicited advice over a public forum waives any attorney-client privilege thus far. In addition, communications over this forum do not create any attorney-client relationship. To have a privileged conversation and/or establish an attorney-client relationship, contact me using the following information: Peyton Z. Peebles III Capitaine, Shellist, Peebles & McAlister, LLP, 713-715-4500 (office) 713-715-4500 (cell) Peebles@TexasLegalTeam.net www.TexasLegalTeam.net

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