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Shoplifted, under arrest, got a ticket, and a fine. No court if I pay. Was I charged/convicted or is it just a ticket??

Eden Prairie, MN |

So I got caught shoplifting, and was put under arrest. Filled out some papers, got my picture taken, signed saying I can't enter store again, and that a fine will arrive in the mail. I was then issued a ticket from the officer. Does this mean I am convicted of a crime or charged with one, or is it just a ticket?? They said I don't have to go to court or jail if I pay the fine and ticket.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

It's hard to answer your question as posted. Where or to whom are you supposed to pay the "fine"?
The "officer" was he/she actually a police officer or a store security person?

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9 comments

Asker

Posted

The officer was an actual officer. And I believe it was a ticket from the state. However the fine is from the store. I'm also not a minor.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

So are you saying the money for the "fine" is payable to the store? What does the ticket require you to do?

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Btw, I may not get back to this until tomorrow.

Asker

Posted

I believe the fine is for the store. The ticket is to pay a separate fine within 21 days or there will be a warrant for my arrest.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Did the "fine" arrive in the mail as you indicated you were told at the store would happen? What are the amounts of the "fine", "ticket" and the value of the items they believe were taken?

Asker

Posted

I haven't gotten the fines yet. It all happened today.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

then as I now understand it, the only thing you have requiring you immediate attention is the ticket. I'm assuming it's is a citation for the lowest graded form of retail theft or shoplifting in your state. I would advise you to talk privately with a local defense attorney about the "ticket" and what your options may be with respect to that document. Most here offer free, if limited, consultations. Take advantage of that opportunity to gain some insight from local counsel about your possible options in responding to it. Discuss the anticipated "fine" from and payable to the store. My suspicion is that that will turn out to be what is known as a Civil Demand. Most attorneys in most jurisdiction recommend that their clients ignore those letters seeking money. In any event raise that topic with the attorney(s) you speak to privately. I would start communicating directly with lawyers in your area who are experienced in criminal defense tomorrow. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thanks so much! You have been awesome!!!

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

You are welcome. Perhaps it is possible for an attorney not licensed in your state to nevertheless provide you with assistance. You have a great day!!!

Posted

It is impossible for any lawyer not licensed in Minnesota to answer this question - there are too many variables. Is "shoplifting" a crime or a violation, is agreeing to pay a fine and a "no trespass" order a CIVIL compromise? You need to talk to a lawyer there - call the local Bar Association and get a referral to a local criminal defense lawyer. Better safe than sorry!!!

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you!

Posted

Right now you are charged, not convicted. If you pay the fine to avoid court, you will be convicted (the paying of the fine will be tendered as a guilty plea). Depending on your criminal history, or lack thereof, it may be in your best interest to go to court. There could be possible ways to resolve this case without a conviction ending up on your record. A criminal conviction can end up haunting you years down the road when applying for a job, trying to rent an apartment, etc....

I hope you find this information helpful and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about your situation. I wish you the best of luck.

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William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Excellent response and I highly recommend to the questioner taking Mr. Leone up on his generous offer.

Posted

You are charged, not yet convicted. But you will be convicted if you pay this fine. You should try to avoid pleading guilty or being convicted. A diversion program or continuance for dismissal may be available to you. An attorney would be able to help you get that result.

After you resolve this case, you should talk to an attorney about expunging the arrest record.

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Posted

You likely have a citation or charge for theft; you have not be convicted. If you pay the fine, payment is treated as a guilt plea, and then you will have a conviction. My advice is the same as other two MN attorneys call an criminal defense attorney.

If you have more questions, please contact me for assistance. Good Luck!

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5 comments

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Just curious. You agree with the advice of MN lawyers recommending a legal consultation, but you simultaneously disagree with the same advice from two lawyers not licensed in your state. A bit parochial it seems, but no offense taken as I'm sure none was intended.

Michael John Herring

Michael John Herring

Posted

My apologies William. I only read the opinions of the Minnesota attorneys. Your comment and Donald's comment are spot-on and helpful as well. Again my apologizes.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

NP Michael, and may I say I appreciate that you responded at all to my comment. I frequently go out of my jurisdiction to respond to open questions, and I normally make it clear in my response that I'm not licensed in the questioner's state and that they and I should pay close attention to what local counsel contribute. In the case of this particular situation, it appeared to me at first blush that there was likely hidden in there somewhere a Civil Demand for money from the offender. Civil Demand letters are one of the most frequently posted questions here and at other sites on the Internet. For whatever reason, I have a special interest in these "special interest" laws that on the whole operate as a scam for the law firms the churn out the letters and the retailers that split the proceeds with those firms. I main point was to try to tease out the presence of such a component in the young lady's situation, so that I could try to insure that she raised that separate issue with local counsel. I learn a tremendous amount in all of my participation here but especially when I go out-of-state. Btw, I highly recommend reading everything that gets posted on any question you choose to post a contribution. Sometimes the best stuff is buried deep in a long colloquy. Best of luck to you, and thanks again.

Michael John Herring

Michael John Herring

Posted

I did find your complete answer informative. I am still learning my way around this website. In fact, the above was my first post on Avvo. Thank you.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Welcome is in order then. Glad to have you aboard!!

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