Skip to main content

My daughter got caught stealing a little short of 20$ worth of items at our local Stop and Shop. What are our next steps?

Wallingford, CT |

They got to her before she left the store and took her back into one of their surveillance rooms where a man asked her to return the items. Unknowing to them she was nervously recording the conversation with her Iphone. She did as they said and they took her license information down, handed her a paper with an explanation of civil demands laws on it and she left. No picture taken. No cops involved, she did not sign anything. Will she be summoned to court? How much will these "civil demand" cost be? She is 19, will her age play a role in anything? Will I need a lawyer? Please help so I can start taking action if I have too.

Attorney Answers 3


You should contact an attorney immediately... We're in Bridgeport, feel free to contact my firm at any time.

However, generally... The civil demand only requires a payment of costs which are usually considered the costs for increased security in the store necessary to cover such instances and the cost of items taken.

Usually, there isn't much of a legal obligation to pay these funds but they will threaten and push and will have attorneys threaten suit.

My suggestion would be speaking to someone as soon as permissible, perhaps consider a small retainer of a firm in case there is any issue, or to address the barrage of mail and communication from their law firm that's about to come...

If you opt to not retain a firm immediately it is probably not the end of the world and the chance or criminal prosecution is negligible... However the chance does exist to some degree and the most cautious way to proceed would require meeting with someone and retaining someone to ensure she's protected.

Good luck with this situation...

Contact us for a free initial consulation; at our NYC office at 212-405-2234 or our Bridgeport Connecticut office at 203-633-4567

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


Your best bet is to have a short consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

It may be that nothing (criminal) ever comes of it, but she needs to understand what her rights are should anyone, police or otherwise, contact her to inquire further about this.

Good luck!

Attorney Mark D. Colson
Colson Law Firm, LLC
40 Russ Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860.263.0055 - Tel
860.838.2822 - Fax

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney!


Am I being clear enough?

You always need a lawyer when charged with a criminal offense; whether a violation, misdemeanor or felony. Remember, the state has a lawyer to represent it; namely, the prosecutor handing the case against you. Would you fill your own filling? .... Or, would you rebuild your own car engine? ....Or would you remove a skin mole (and have it biopsied)? ... Of course not, so why play Perry Mason when you're not a lawyer? In fact, even if you were an attorney, you'd realize that you cannot represent yourself as well as another lawyer..... I've represented many attorneys because they realize that they should represent themselves, so neither should you!

I don't mean to be too harsh, but I'd rather impress how important this is in a person's criminal defense.

Good luck


Attorney Salvatore Bonanno
Law Offices of Salvatore Bonanno
67 Russ Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 527-6500 Office
(860) 246-6786 Fax

Attorney Bonanno's answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should carefully consider advice from an attorney hired and who has all facts necessary to properly advise a client, which is why these answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics