If i paid the fine once i recieve a civil demand, i need also to have a court hearing? what is fine of judge if first offender?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Francisco, CA

until now i am sleepless because i did not reieve a letter from walgreens which i was caught in august 24. if the fine was 250 then i will pay it? what next? i already consult the public defender they advice me to bring the letter to them when i got it and they will help me understand it. i do still need to have a hearing in court even i will pay the fine? the worth i steal not over $60.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. John M. Kaman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are talking about two different things: the demand letter and the criminal process. Paying the demand letter has no effect on the criminal process. If you are arrested a criminal case will be filed against you whether you paid the demand or not. There is no advantage to paying it and at least one major disadvantage: the National Retailers' Theft data base (which is not a court record) keeps track of all shoplifting offenses at the larger stores. One way to get on the list is to have a criminal conviction; the other way is to voluntarily pay a civil demand letter. Don't do it.

    As for any criminal charge CA does not have a true expungement process. An expungement wipes your record clean or seals it. CA instead has a dismissal statute that allows you to apply for dismissal after you have completed probation. In misdemeanor cases you must include proof of rehabilitation. After such a dismissal you will not have to report your conviction to private employers but you will have to disclose it when seeking a state job or state license (other than a driver's license).

    You are best off to follow your PD's advice.

  2. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Duplicate question - duplicate answer:

    You almost certainly are facing two punishments for one act. The first is before the judge. He can give you a fine or possibly other penalties.

    The second is the demand letter. That is an attempt by the store to legally steal from you. Stop worrying right now and go listen to your lawyer (the public defender).

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. This answer is not legal advice, which... more

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