Assen will send you a series of letters and will also call seeking a civil demand (which is authorized by state law) of 5 times the value of the goods allegedly stolen up to $500. I advise my clients not to pay this civil demand because I have never seen a store sue to collect as it is not worth their time and money. Assen makes his money off people who give it to him. I write letters to Assen for my clients directing him not to communicate with my client and to only deal with me. This stops him from contacting my clients any further. Ignoring the civil demand letters will not cause you to be arrested now - I've never seen some one arrested after the fact. You got very lucky.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Don't bother paying. The law allows the store to seek this $$ (even if you returned the merchandise), but I have never seen them come after someone for failing to pay the fine. Its not worth their time and/or effort. In the future, though, DON'T shoplift!
Alexander M. Fear, Esq. 757 Third Ave., 20th Floor New York, New York 10017 212-376-6199 212-656-1269 (fax) Alexander@AlexanderFearLaw.com WWW.AlexanderFearLaw.com This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and delete this e-mail and all copies and attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.