Supposedly: I got caught shoplifting at macys but no cops were called because apparently if the value I stole is less then 100 then Macy's does not call the cops. I was told to sign I would never return and some other piece stating that I did steal. They got all the merchandise back. They said according to Macy's if you are caught stealing you have to pay 500 regardless if its 2$ or 70$ and asked me to pay how much ever I have on me right then and there. I said I had none. They let me go and said I would get the civil demand in mail. I looked up on other sites and they claim Macys prosecutes 100% of the time, I know no cop came to take a report. What are the chances they will call the cops after I leave to charge me? I plan on just paying the 500 and get it over.I am scared that I will get summoned to court and also I will be in college and I don't want my parents knowing about this so I plan just paying the 500 quickly before they take me court for the civil thing. I know this has nothing to do with criminal prosecution but I just don't want to go to court because my parents will find out. Please advise??? I am also over 18.
Supposedly you got caught shoplifting? Look, you either did or didn't get caught shoplifting. Quit being so coy about this. Retain an attorney because you have a lot to lose. IF the cops were not involved you may have dodged a bullet.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--Put my experience to work for you!
Macy's staff could file an application for a criminal complaint in District Court (but they certainly are not required and hopefully, they won't). If they file an application, you will be summonsed in to appear at a show cause hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the evidence supports a finding of probable cause. If there is a finding of probable cause, you will be summonsed in again - for an arraignment on the charge. Shoplifting is not a serious offense but with a conviction, you will have a criminal record that will haunt you for many years (until you have it sealed - assuming you take the necessary steps to get it sealed). You are not required to attend the show cause hearing but I would advise that you retain a lawyer and appear. There is a realistic possibility of resolving the matter at that level. If Macy's staff fails to appear, no complaint will issue since there won't be any evidence offered in support of the complaint. Once again, you should attempt to resolve the matter before a complaint issues. Your lawyer may determine that it is advisable at some point to reimburse the store for their expenses and negotiate the amount in an effort to avoid prosecution. Please - do not disclose any more facts about the incident because the information you provide in this forum is not confidential. Good luck - do well in school and let this be a learning experience.
Any comments made on this website relate to general trends in the law and are not to be construed or understood as legal advice, nor establishing an attorney/client relationship. Please consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before making any legal decisions. I am licensed in Massachusetts and U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts.
If you keep stealing you will eventually get prosecuted and convicted. Employers don't hire thieves, loan companies don't give car or home loans to thieves. Maybe you should hire a lawyer and stop commiting crimes.
Attorney Kalinowski's answer and advice are excellent. You ask "what are the chances they will call the cops after I leave to charge me?" The fact that they did not call the cops while you were there is a positive sign that they will not charge you; however, it certainly is not a guarantee that they will not charge you. The police do not have to come to the store in order for you to be charged. The store can file the application for criminal complaint itself. Or the store can send the loss prevention incident report to the police and the police can file an application for criminal complaint. And paying the civil demand usually has NO impact at all on the decision of the store (or the police) to file an application for criminal complaint. You can pay the $500 if you wish; but that payment (or refusal to pay the civil demand) will probably make no difference on whether the store (or the police) file an application for criminal complaint. I note you are from Wakefield; the Macy's in Saugus would go to Lynn District Court, the Macy's in Peabody would go to Peabody District Court, and the Macy's in Burlington would go to Woburn District Court. All three of these courts schedule Clerk-Magistrate Hearings typically within three months of the date of filing of the application for criminal complaint. If you don't receive anything from the court (if it is one of these three courts) within three months it is likely that no application for criminal complaint was filed against. you. Good Luck!
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