i moved from that apt and lost track of what i recived. Iam now trying to apply for the dream act will this count as a misdemeanor ?
If you question is whether not paying the civil demand will count as a misdemeanor, the answer is no. You were not ordered by a court to pay anything, that was just an offer to civilly compromise the case. They likely cannot even prove you ever received the demand. That will not be your major concern.
Your question does not say whether you were prosecuted criminally for the shoplifting and whether you either pled guilty or were found guilty. If you were found guilty of a misdemeanor involving (moral turpitude i.e. theft) it could become an issue for you. However, you did not indicate that is what happened, so I really can't speak to that part of your question.
No. Unless the police were called and responded, you were not arrested for a misdemeanor. If you did not appear in court, you were not prosecuted for a misdemeanor. If you did not plead guilty or get convicted at the end of a trial, you were not convicted of a misdemeanor. If you did not appear in court, get convicted (or plead guilty, which has the same effect as a conviction), and have a judge order you to pay that amount, you had no leagl obligation to pay.
Civil demand letters are little more than extortion. In most cases, the items have been recovered and a letter is later sent demanding an obscenely out of proprtion amount by a law firm. I never recommend that people pay these. If, on the other hand, a judge ordered you to pay restitution in the order of "X", you must.
You don't say whether you were actually arrested for, let alone convicted of, anything. If you were convicted of an offense, the record of conviction will show its status as either a felony or misdemeanor if you don't remember it. Receipt of a civil demand letter, as other lawyers suggest, is not proof of a conviction, which is the thing that matters.
You may also want to consult with an immigration attorney to help with your application.
A civil demand letter does not create an independent obligation to pay unless followed by a civil lawsuit which almost never happens. As to potential criminal matters, my colleagues have addressed this in their answers, as well as touching on immigration issues (there being none about the civil demand letter itself.)
Assuming there was no criminal prosecution, this is not a criminal record. It may not be any record at all. You should consult an Immigration lawyer about your Dream Act application; you want to get it right.
There is a law in most states, including Wisconsin, which allows for civil action collection when there is a retail theft. Most people choose to ignore the demand. They get a few more letters, each time asking for more, and then they stop. While the retailer can sue you, I have never heard of anyone actually getting sued. You do not owe any money unless you are sued and the retailer wins. This is a common ploy. Do not pay. If you do, you will be in a database which could affect your ability to get a job and could impact your life in other ways. If you are uncomfortable, have your lawyer write a letter. That should be the end of it.
(copied from Illinois Atty. Judy A Goldstein’s post but it is my opinion as well) http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/60448-il-judy-gol...
See also: http://addbalance.com/civildemand.htm
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