I recently turned 18, and a "friend" of mine blackmailed me into shop-lifting. I never shop-lifted before and I was deadly nervous; of course, being stupid and all, I tried taking a foundation worth about $36. As I tried leaving with my "friend", a woman and a man came running up to me. They asked us to follow them and if we comply, nothing would happen. I complied. They took me into a room, asked me to take out what I stole (and what she stole - but she doesn't matter), had me sign papers, took my photo ID and a portrait photo, and lastly told me I am banned and MAYBE a fine would appear at my house within two weeks. As well as that they won't call or involve the police, just into their security system. Not wanting to cry or cause more chaos, I complied. I regret it deeply and feel completely stupid for feeling weak and listening to "my friend." But I am still terrified. Will this, somehow, became a criminal record under my name? Will I actually get a fine? Is there a possible chance of knowing how much the fine will be? Am I banned for life? Please help.
You got off easy. No criminal charges and banned from store.
If you do receive a civil demand, ignore it.
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As I had a cousin who went through the same thing I would not advise ignoring the civil fine as long as you do not have to go to court and make any statements. When the letter comes, pay the amount as long as it is reasonable to the item amount alleged stolen plus overage. So $100 to $150 would not surprise me but over that and I would try and negotiate it down if possible.
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