stoles goods from QFC valued at $65.98. Now they say I must pay $615.98, or make monthly payments. First time shoplifter, no police were there. Do they have access to how much money I make,or where I work from my drivers liscense? What is the full amount allowed by the statute mean? would that amount possibly be more than the 615 they are trying to get me to pay?
Neal C. Tenen is a lawyer that represents many shopkeepers in recovering damages under the Washington State shopkeepers statute. The amount QFC is requesting has nothing to do with what you make, but instead is usually a set amount on top of the value of the stolen merchandise.
The good news is that if you, or your attorney, handle the matter correctly, oftentimes you can obtain a civil release from the store, through Mr. Tenen, that you can later use to attempt to get the charges dismissed under Washington's Compromise of Misdemeanor Statute. RCW 10.22.020. That statute states that:
"In such case (like a shoplifting case), if the party injured appear in the court in which the cause is pending at any time before the final judgment therein, and acknowledge, in writing, that he or she has received satisfaction for the injury, the court may, in its discretion, on payment of the costs incurred, order all proceedings to be discontinued and the defendant to be discharged. The reasons for making the order must be set forth therein and entered in the minutes. Such order is a bar to another prosecution for the same offense."
What this basically means, is that if you get a release from QFC that you have paid their damages, you can ask the judge to dismiss your case. It is best to handle this through an attorney however. If the matter is handled properly, you may be able to keep the shoplifting off of your record.