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Statutory civil penalty claim being held against me unless i pay a fine of 300$. no charges were held at the scene.

Chicago, IL |

month ago i stole candy from a grocery store in chicago, il. i was on video and so was my friend who stole candy and vodka. the security guard took us both to the security room. he let me purchase my candy and took a copy of my ID and dismissed me NO CHARGES. since my friend was under 21 years old he had to call the police and persecute her. yesterday i got a "settlement offer" in the mail from a law office in Flo. they state Safeway INC. grocery stores may move forward in filing a "statutory civil damages claim" against me. if i pay 300$ settlement they will give me a written release of the "statutory civil penalty claim".
A. should i really send money to a law firm which i have no idea whether or not is a scam?
B. i currently have no charges against me is it likely they will move forward

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Attorney answers 1


Is the FL lawfirm Palmer & Reifler & Associates?

If so, check them out online. They have been sued in at least one class action lawsuit for their conduct in regards to the thousands of civil penalty letters they mail each year. Whether any such case is still pending would take some legal research.

Some out-of-state lawfirms try to collect money from unsuspecting laypersons in Illinois by threatening to sue over a few hundred dollars. Since the filing fee for a lawsuit in Cook County if $402 it is unknown under your circumstances if they would actually follow through with the threat of litigation.

If there are no criminal charges against you yet, you need not hire a criminal defense attorney to defend the shoplifting in criminal court.

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