A civil demand letter from a private law firm or a company does not create an independent obligation to pay. A communication from a court, or a civil lawsuit is a different matter and you should then hire a lawyer immediately.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
If you weren't arrested, you don't have to pay anything. What you received is a civil demand. These have no legal force. These letters are sent by law firms intending to scare people into paying. It's nothing more than legal extortion. If they threaten to sue you or report you to the authorities, you don't need to worry. You will however continue to receive there letters for the foreseeable future.
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If and when you receive a civil demand letter, you do not have to pay it.
A civil demand is not a debt and you would only have to pay it if they successfully sued you. The likelihood of that happening is almost zilch.
Paying or not paying the civil demand will have no effect on any criminal actions which might be brought against you.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with your own attorney.
Do not pay this request because nothing has been proven against you either in the criminal or the civil court. There is no judgment thus no legal effect. This is a transparent attempt to extort money from you without the legal authority.
Not knowing the entirety of your situation and without a full understanding of the facts, etc. this advice should be taken as general advice and not specific to your situation. You should fully consult an attorney before reaching a decison as to what to do. Good Luck!