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Will shoplifting go in my permanent record?

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. 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; that due to the various state laws that the information provided is a general overview of the law, which might not be applicable to you, based upon the laws of your state. We will not file anything on your behalf nor protect any statute of limitations which might arise and recommend that you IMMEDIATELY consult legal counsel for adviceThis response does not constitute or make an attorney-client relationship as it is made for general purposes; answering attorney does not possess enough information to inform recipient of the applicable statute of limitations. You may also contact Mr. Hiden at (619) 296-5884 or by email at "dhiden@hrollp.com"


  2. 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 only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  3. 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 short questions. Without a full consultation with an attorney, you should not rely upon any information presented in this forum. The intricate facts of every case are different. The information provided is not legal advice and should not be the basis of any decision without the actual guidance of an attorney. Further, any information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva should not be perceived as a willingness to represent you or actual representation. If you would like to speak with Attorney Matthew V. Silva, please call Silva and Sweet, PLLC at 910-333-9833 or visit www.silvaandsweet.com.

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