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I got caught shoplifting, if this is my first offense what are my chances of getting granted a deferred disposition?

Augusta, ME |

I got caught shoplifting a week ago. The merchandise I tried to take was valued to be around $150. I have never been in any sort of criminal trouble before and have no criminal record what so ever. What are my chances of getting granted a deferred disposition? Also, I received a letting from the company in the mail saying I was to pay them $225. Everything I tried to take was returned and nothing was damaged so why do I owe them anything? Do I have to pay the $225?

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Attorney answers 2


The letter requesting $225 is not a scam but it's pretty close. There are a lot of firms who make these requests on behalf of companies trying to collect something so that they can take a portion of that payment. Maine law allows for this but you don't have to pay anything Unless they sue you and get a verdict against you. That's never going to happen.

Deferred dispositions are common in some counties but anything goes in Augusta these days and I won't make any predictions for you. The district attorney can do a deferred disposition if they want to.

Hire an attorney if you want the best possible chance of getting a good outcome.

<a href="">Maine criminal defense attorney</a>|<a href="//" rel="publisher" style="text-decoration:none;"> <img src="//" alt="Google+" style="border:0;width:16px;height:16px;"/></a>|<a href="">Harmless Error Blog</a><br> The answer above is not a complete legal opinion. I have very limited information about your case and I am not your attorney. If you want to discuss your situation in more detail, you can contact me directly.


Stores hardly ever bother to sue people for damages for shoplifting, especially in a case where all items were recovered undamaged. Instead, they hire someone to send out demand letters like the one you got, figuring if they can simply scare you into paying they're ahead of the game. You don't have to pay. If they want to spend money to file a suit against you for damages, you can deal with it then. The more important thing is to deal as effectively as possible with the theft charge. Hire a criminal defense attorney to give yourself the best chance of avoiding a conviction. If you do secure a deferred disposition, follow through. A theft conviction is a very bad thing to have. Theft is a crime of dishonesty and prospective employers really dislike it.