In most states if you have never been charged and convicted of a theft offense then this would commonly be called petty theft and the degree of the charge and the penalty may be different from state to state. Often, however, retail stores do not file charges when the amount is this small but may well send you a notice that says you are not allowed to come back to any of their stores. If they do that, and you ever go in one of their stores again, they may then simply file a criminal trespassing charge on you even if you do nothing wrong. Discussing potential criminal charges or penalties at online forums can be risky. If your concern is about potential criminal issues, then you should not talk about it on the internet at all. Instead you should talk to a criminal law lawyer near you, right away. Many investigators now check social media and Q&A websites when they are investigating a possible defendant, looking for questions that may indicate possible guilt or damaging admissions that can be gleaned from questions posted online. I do not know what your circumstance is. Regardless, you should talk to a local criminal law attorney near you right away. If you can not afford one then as soon as you stand up in court, say that you can not afford an attorney and want one to be appointed to represent you. That is the first thing you should say and pretty much the only thing you should say. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Criminal Law attorney near you or for the name of the local "public defender" or ask how to get a court appointed attorney. You need to understand how to do this process before you get in the courtroom and do it wrong. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote Up” review below. Thanks. Ron Burdge, www.OhioConsumerLaw.com
This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Click the link to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.
In Las Vegas Wal-Mart generally will call the police and because the incident did not occur in the presence of the police officer they will have the security officer sign a citation which amounts to a citizens's complaint. However, they did not go through with that procedure, so I think that they were referring to another option under Nevada law which allows corporate to seek a civil penalty for the shoplifting. Under this option they can assess $250.00 plus the price of the item as a civil fine. If you do not pay the amount they could file an action in the Justice Court of whichever township you live to seek the civil remedy. It appears that they have not taken this action, but have reserved the right to seek further action.
The information shared in this e-mail does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and you should consult with a local attorney in your city where you can share confidential matters and receive a full evaluation of your legal situation.