I am 15 years old and was caught stealing a pair of headphones $99.99 at Fry's electronics I know I did a stupid thing and that its a life lesson. They got all my information and I got picked up by cops it was the most humiliating thing in my life so far. Anyway I really don't know what to do or say at court. Also Fry's sent me a letter demanding $350 what should I do with it? My family is poor and we really cant pay that much could we ask Fry's to lower the fine? Also I know they will make me pay for the Headphones and will I at least be able to keep them? And what kind of punishment will I most likely get. I know I am asking a lot of questions but I will be very grateful if someone could help me. Thank you
Do your parents know? Hopefully this can be resolved before court.
The demand for money is sent to you because Illinois has a law which allows retailers to collect civilly for losses they supposedly incurred as a result of your retail theft. Most people ignore the letters. You might get a couple of them, but usually they stop. There is a slight risk that your parents will be sued, but I have never heard of a company actually pursuing the lawsuit. If you have not done so, you must tell your parents. They will be required to come to court with you. You really need a lawyer. If you are in court in Bridgeview or Markham, you will be entitled to a public defender. If you have been charged by your local village and not by the State of Illinois, then you have been charged with violating a municipal ordinance. You will be required to pay a fine and/or do community service. Please have a parent call a criminal defense attorney and both of you o to see him or her for a consultation. Like you said - this is a lesson learned. You will get through this but you are best served by having a lawyer.
Paying Fry would be like throwing money away. It will not affect the case at this point. If your family cannot afford an attorney a public defender will be appointed and they will know what to do.
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