Will shoplifting go in my permanent record?

Asked over 1 year ago - Morgan Hill, CA

I drank a bottle of chocolate milk and set it down and forgot to pay for it. A loss prevention officer stopped me outside the store and detained me. He took my license info down, had me sign a couple of papers, informed me that i would be getting a letter in the mail seeking damages, and let me go without calling the cops. Will this incident go on my criminal record?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. David Vincent Hiden


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . NO..The police were not called, no charges filed, you have no criminal record. The papers you signed were some sort of admission documents and the letter he is talking about is for civil restitution. This is the time and expense that the store spent in hiring the agent, lost time, etc..The letter will state you will owe them usually between $200-$400.00. I suggest paying it as they can always (but usually don't) call the police at a later date.

    Legal disclaimer: Please be advised that the advice provided does not create any attorney/client relationship;... more
  2. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The detention and restitution demand do not constitute and arrest or conviction, so any background check looking for either will not find it. There is a national list maintained that many retailers participate in that lists those persons detained for shoplifting who signed off on what is essentially an admission of guilt. It is possible that your employer, if it is a participant in that database, would learn of your circumstances.

    However, please note that is not part of any official police record.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  3. Matthew Vernon Silva


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . This will not go on your criminal record. Guessing from the facts you have provided, I am guessing that you were at Wal-Mart. You are going to get a letter asking for some ridiculous amount of money with a threat that if you don't pay, you could be liable up to $1,000.00 in court. When you get your letter, you need to hire an attorney. He will be able to save you money.

    The information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva is based upon the generic and ambiguous facts presented in... more

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