Today I made the biggest mistake of my life I shoplifted an item that $ 2.79 and was caught .I have never done anything like this before and not sure why I did it this time . I was given a Civil Demand by a very rude guy from ( Gray Loss Prevention) that made me feel like I had rob a bank ( as it I didn't already feel like crap ) said I have 30 days to pay ! The demand says I have to pay $ 177.79 =$150.00 for restitution fee $ 2.79 for the merchandise and $ 25.00 for a service charge ! I Know what I did was so so wrong but is this the normal for this type of thing ” and sure I just pay it ? Thank you for you time.
just do a search on this site for civil demand letter as this question has been asked and answered many times.
First, you should remove the incriminating admission you have made. Second, have you been charged with summary retail theft? If so, you should retain a qualified criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charge or negotiate a withdrawal.
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If you choose not to pay, the company's lawyers may sue you in civil court. You have to decide whether the company would spend all that money, hiring counsel, attrnding a hearing, etc. In order to collect 178 dollars. If you received a notice to never enter the store, you must follow this as entering the store would br trespass.
It depends upon the specific retailer, but payment of a civil demand letter does not ensure that there will be no criminal charges brought by the Commonwealth. Any such payment could be construed as evidence of guilt if not handled appropriately. I would refrain from making payment at this time until you have met with a criminal defense attorney. These charges can be serious but are manageable.
All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. Without the benefit of a personal consultation to explore all of the facts of your legal problem, the information in this posting may be inaccurate and for that reason it should not be relied upon.
No. Do not pay this! In my opinion it is a scam. Also refrain from making these admissions in online forums you could open yourself up, but honestly do not pay that demand.
My guess is that the demand is from an out of town lawyer or collection agent who probably will not come to Pittsburgh to sue you. The real question is, if you are cited or arrested by summons for this, will the fact that you paid this having any bearing on your criminal Retail theft charges. My guess is no but I have represented people before where I was able to get a sweeter deal because we agreed to pay the civil demand. The general rule is don't pay it until you talk to an attorney.
The other answers are incomplete. There is a $150.00 civil penalty and fee shifting. Lawyers for the stores aggregate their cases and make a killing in district court See 42 Pa C.S. § 8308. Damages in actions on retail theft.
(a) General rule.--In a civil action based on retail theft,
as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3929(a) (relating to retail theft), a
court of competent jurisdiction shall utilize the following
(1) Order the defendant to restore the merchandise to
the plaintiff in its original condition, if possible.
(2) Award damages as follows:
(i) If it is not possible to restore the merchandise
in its original condition under paragraph (1), award the
value of the merchandise as damages.
(ii) Award actual damages arising from the incident.
Damages under this subparagraph do not include the loss
of time or wages incurred by the plaintiff in connection
with the apprehension and prosecution of the defendant.
(iii) Award reasonable attorney fees and reasonable
(3) Award a civil penalty to the plaintiff in the amount
of the value of the merchandise plus $150.
That last part jarred you didn't it? But don't pay any money without a written agreement that it is one and done for all purposes. Know however that you will be intraindustry (stores) databased as a shoplifter no matter what happens.
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