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Today I was caught shoplifting two $4 lipsticks from walmart. They took me in a little office, got my typical contact information. They told me not to do it again, that if i did I would go to jail and said i would recieve a letter in the mail. Then they let me go. So my questions are:

1. In how long will i recieve the letter? I'm leaving next saturday for 2 weeks out the country. & I don't want my mom reading the letter!

2. What will the letter say?
3. will it go on my record?
4. & how much will it cost me?

I've never been caught stealing. and it was less than $10.

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Attorney answers 3


I am assuming that the letter they are talking about will be coming from their attorneys asking you for money. It will be more than the $10, normally, and will include requests that you pay for the services of their security staff in apprehending you among other things. Have an attorney look at it before you send them any money. As far as your record goes, anything under $50 is a class C misdemeanor, so if you can get deferred adjudication on it you should be able to get it expunged later. For that you might want to talk to a criminal defense attorney that handles class C misdemeanors if you are ever actually charged for it. No way to tell at this point when the letter will arrive or how much it will cost. Take it one step at a time, don't freak out, and talk to an attorney if they file charges or try to intimidate you with a letter from their lawyers. Good luck


1. The letter could come at any point. In my experience, my clients have received the letter dated several weeks to several months later.
2. The form letter usually says that you were arrested for shoplifting and are liable to Walmart for civil damages under Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 134.005. It will tell you to mail them a payment of anywhere from $200 to $500 (based on my experience) and that if you do, they won't sue you.
3. I'm guessing you didn't get a ticket, but you should double check with a lawyer to make sure there is no criminal action pending. If not, there will not be anything on your arrest record. There may, however, be something on your credit report if Walmart sues you and gets what is called a "default judgment" against you.
4. How much it costs depends on whether you pay Walmart or not. If you do not pay them, they may or may not sue you in small claims court. If they do, that could be more expensive.

I am not your lawyer yet. If you would like me to be, give me a call at 512-535-1081, or send me an email to


Sounds like you are the most concerned about whether or not your Mom will find out about this. I am most concerned about whether or not you will end up getting charged/cited/written a ticket for Class C Theft. You received pretty good explanations about what to do about the letter/demand letter from the store. My advice is about what to do if you actually get a notice to appear in municipal court for Class C Theft. If you do get charged, don't just go pay a fine. That will stay on your record as a final conviction for Theft. Get a lawyer and make sure that you resolve the case in a way that will allow you to expunge/erase your records down the road.

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