I was caught stealing about ten to fifteen dollars worth of merchandise. They told me that I would be receiving a civil demand letter in about four to six weeks. I still haven't received it but I was wondering what would be consequences of not paying the civil demand or my chances of a claim being filed against me. I have read that most attorneys recommend not to pay it but I would like to be well informed before taking any sort of action. Also I would like to mention that I am only fifteen years old.
Since I am underage and my mother is responsible for me, how will it affect her if she doesn't pay for the civil demand? Such as her credit or a possible record?
DUI / DWI Attorney
You have no legal obligation to pay a civil demand should you get one. Nobody can tell you the chances of a claim being filed against you. Whether or not you pay, Walmart has a right to report the incident to the police, and if the prosecuting agency feels there is enough evidence, they can file charges against you. Should anybody contact you about this incident you have no obligation to give a statement.
This answer is intended for general information, not legal advice. Nothing in this answer shall be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship.
3 lawyers agree
The general agreement among Avvo attorneys is that civil demand letters need not be paid.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Don't pay it. The chances of a claim being filed against you are virtually zero. I have tried, but have not been able to come up with a single first-hand account of a negative consequence arising from refusal to pay a civil demand.