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Got caught shoplifting at Walmart

Modesto, CA |

A couple of days of ago my friend and I were caught shoplifting at Walmart. When walking out of the store the LP stopped us and took us to a room. We are both 18, my friend had a bag and they pour everything out of her bag and recovered the stolen items. I didn't have anything on me, but they said I gave her an item and she put it in her bag. I believe the total of the items was around $50, photos were also taken of the stolen items. They took our info, SS#, and our pictures. They said they would have to turn us over to the cops, they printed the reports and called the police, after a while he let us go and called off the police. He gave us a paper saying that we have to pay the civil demand. What happens next? How much would the fine be? I know made a BIG mistake and I learned from this.

Also we were not arrested, the cops never showed up. So will this be on my criminal record? The LP said that we wouldn't get a court date, we just have to pay for the civil demands. I'm just really scared because they called the police and printed out the report, can they still charge me after they let me go?

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Attorney answers 1


It sounds like you and your friend may be among the lucky ones. It is still possible that criminal charges will be filed but it sounds unlikely. Regardless be careful to monitor your mail closely and attend immediately to anything you receive from a court agency. With respect to the civil demand, when it comes by mail ignore it and the ones that will follow for a few months. If, as I have seen happen, attempts are made to contact you by telephone, ignore those as well. The civil demand scam and criminal charges are unrelated. Good luck. Btw, if you receive something from the courts contact legal counsel immediately.