If someone is pressing charges but knows nothing about me, should I just go on with my life? I'm 18 and its for petty theft

Asked about 1 year ago - Las Vegas, NV

38 hours ago (or close to that) I was planning on stealing a $3.5 candy bar, I put it in my pocket, but then I took it out. Later, the clerk came up to me and told me to show her my pockets. So I did and nothing was there. She left saying sorry and thanks. So i stood there, terrified. I then walked up, and BOUGHT the same bar i was planning on stealing. Later that night I told my mom what happened leaving out the part of me going to steal it. The next day she called asking why they "searched" (wasn't a search, they just asked to see my pockets) my son and the clerk said "We have video evidence of your son stealing and were pressing charges". Here's the thing, they don't know anything about me, except what I look like. When my mom called, we have our phone # blocked so she can't see our #

Additional information

I have stolen on a few other occasions, but I was never caught. So this is my first offense. After my mom called I came clean to it all. Now were extremely worried, what will the police do in attempts of trying to find me? Should I just go on with my life? Is there any way they can press charges against me if I never go back to that store and if they don't know anything about me? I live a little away from LV, and there is only one school in this area, so it'd be easy for the police to go to the schools dean/principle and ask if they've seen me and what my address is. But would they do that and waste their time for a $3.5 crime? Where iI live is generally safe, and the police officers aren't as busy as they would be in LV. Do you think my case would be winnable if they do find me? I'm not hiding or anything, I'm just, currently, going on with my life. Please answer main question though. Thanks a ton

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Edmund Joseph Gorman

    Contributor Level 5

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 1. If they have surveillance video of you attempting to steal the item, they should also have video of you being searched and coming up clean. And video of you purchasing the bar. So you have a defense to theft. You may or may not have a defense to attempted theft, but it is highly unlikely they would prosecute you for this crime if you didn't actually steal the item.

    2. A store can "press charges," i.e. file a police report and agree to testify against you, but when it comes to criminal charges, only the state can "charge" you. So, the store might make a police report, but it will be up to the police to follow through with it. It is hard to imagine the police will do anything with a report of a stolen item worth $3.50.

    3. The prospect of a school-by-school search for a candy thief is not realistic at all.

    So, while it is not *impossible* that you will see your face on the 11 o'clock news or a poster at the post office, and that there will be a city-wide manhunt for your immediate arrest, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Remember, if questioned by police (whether for this incident or not), you should speak with a lawyer before answering any questions, no matter what the police tell you or threaten you with.

    Also, shoplifting is a crime and you will eventually get caught, so hopefully this incident will provide a valuable lesson for you about the risks you face.

  2. Ryan Alexander

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The movement to your pocket could be considered an attempt crime if they could show you meant to permanently take it... but buying the bar shows you didn't mean that.

    I think they're just trying to scare you away from that store. While it's not impossible, charges are unlikely.

    Clark County, Nevada practitioner.
  3. Patrick W. Kang

    Contributor Level 4

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A) If they do not press charges against you then there is really nothing to worry about. If there are no criminal charges then there is no issue. Practically, that store clerk will likely not bother with calling the police and filing charges over a $3.50 candy bar that was paid for by you.

    B) Also, since you actually did buy the candy bar that would be a defense you could use should they pursue criminal charges against you.

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