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Shoplifting Caught at Nordstrom, Washington State

Seattle, WA |

I I was caught shoplifting at Nordstorm, Washington State.I took 1 item worth $88. This is the first time I have ever caught shoplifting. They did not call cops; just filed paperwork on me.I am very much worrying about they are going to to. I'm not a resident, I have a student visa, I'm a student.
A lawyer said "Stores around the Seattle area report to the police practically all shoplifting incidents. Summons are generally sent to defendants within a month. " But, the admonishment agreement said that "we have agreed not to refer you to the police for criminal prosecution at this time." I've no idea what will they do. What can I do now? Please help!!!!

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

It would appear that whatever the "admonishment agreement" was indicates they will not be making a police report or seeking criminal prosecution. Don't be surprised if you receive a civil restitution demand from the store for the cost of the merchandise plus an additional penalty of up to a couple hundred dollars. Best advice is to stay away from the store and pay any demanded civil penalties promptly. If you are charged with Theft you should hire an attorney because Theft is a serious matter when it comes to your immigration status. You indicated that this may be your first offense, if so, even if charged with Theft criminally you may be able to avoid a conviction. You would want to ask your attorney if a civil compromise or diversion is viable in your particular case. Good luck!

Asker

Posted

I just don't understand if they will not be making a police report or seeking criminal prosecution.I won't never be charged with theft?

Erin Bradley McAleer

Erin Bradley McAleer

Posted

If the store is not pursuing or reporting the theft with the police you won't be charged. If they send you a civil demand and you don't pay it they may make a complaint with the police at that time.

Posted

The course of action would be to consult with a qualified attorney who has experience with theft charges in Seattle.

That being said, I have had extensive experience with theft charges in Seattle, many involving Nordstrom's, and I can say that not reporting thefts to the police and offering an "admonishment agreement" is a new policy for them and it appears to be a good one for those caught taking merchandise from their store. A client of mine recently had an experience similar to yours; signed the "admonishment agreement," paid the "civil penalty" and the matter has so far not been charged in court (it has been 2 months since the incident).

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss your matter further.

Asker

Posted

Thank you!! Do you think I need to make an appointment with you to discuss this? Since I haven't pay the civil penalty ($500). I don't know that if I don't pay it, what would they do; or I pay it, would they still sue me or something...I haven't receive the letter from them, I called them then I knew the fine was $500. Then I moved. Do you think I need to let them know my new address? Thanks a lot!!!

Mark C Blair

Mark C Blair

Posted

Sure. Give me a call tomorrow. Best, Mark _______________________ Mark Blair Blair & Kim, PLLC 1700 7th Avenue, Suite 2100 Seattle, Wa 98101 T 206.624.9171 F 206.984.4529 www.blairkim.com _______________________

Asker

Posted

Hi Mark, I have the same situation! Do you think I should ignore the demand letter??? What will happen if I ignore it??????? Please help! I cannot sleep everyday!

Mark C Blair

Mark C Blair

Posted

If you were caught taking merchandise from Nordstrom's without paying and you have been offered the "admonishment agreement" I would suggest that you have an attorney review the document before making a decision. I my own client's case, Nordstrom offered the "agreement" which requires that you pay the civil penalty, and did not refer the case to law enforcement. So, in my client's case, the decision to accept the agreement and to pay the civil demand was a good one _______________________ Mark Blair Blair & Kim, PLLC 1700 7th Avenue, Suite 2100 Seattle, Wa 98101 T 206.624.9171 F 206.984.4529 www.blairkim.com _______________________

Asker

Posted

Thank you!

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