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What happens after you get caught stealing at Walmart?

Westminster, CA |

I made a dumb mistake and I decided to steal from Walmart today. Long story short, I got caught and was escorted into a backroom. They asked for my basic information and called my parents since I am 17 years old.

I asked what was going to happen to me and one of the employees told me I was going to be let go in the custody of my mother and within four months I would be getting a fine in the mail between the amount of $50-500. Just so you know, I tried stealing about 90.00 worth of merchandise.

I'm fine with paying the fine, but my question is this going to be on my record?
NO police were called. They scanned my driver's license and have my social security number and then let me go.

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Attorney answers 3


Walmart does not prosecute these cases. This is not a criminal case but a civil case. Nothing will appear on your record since you were not convicted of anything. You will receive a threatening letter from an attorney. I would ignore it. If the harassment persists, hire an attorney. One letter from an attorney and they will desist.
The best part of your question is that you admit to a mistake. That is the first step to redemption. I did it myself when I was young.

Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan.

Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA
17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43
Artesia, CA 90701

Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns,
Homeowner Association Strategist.

As a strategist, I analyze and integrate the operations, reserve study, budget, and financial statements into a unitary plan for 1 – 5 years, utilizing my experience as
a former treasurer and vice president of a homeowners' association and corporate
controller and auditor, to minimize homeowner association dues.


On important note to remember: Walmart will keep a record on you like the police keeps cards on gang members. If you steal again you can bet on it Walmart will press charges. If you have no money on you when you steal, the District Attorney can charge you with a second degree burglary which can be charged as a felony.


If the police were not called during the time store security held you, then the odds are that there will be no criminal charges. Usually, the store calls the police while you're there. Can they have filed a report and charges could be filed later? Yes, but highly unlikely.

Instead, you're likely to get a "civil demand" letter. If you do a search on for civil demand letters in California, you'll probably see several answers I've written (along with many other attorneys) that discuss them in greater detail. In essence, they're all bark and no bite. Walmart got their stuff back and resold it. They're not out any money. The letter you're likely to get is from some law firm that does nothing but try to get hundreds of dollars from you (and of course, they skim from that) when the store really isn't out any money.

If you ignore their letters, they may send a few, then make a decision - let it go (which they almost always do) or file a small claims case against you where they would have to prove their damages (which would probably be $0).

Unless you were arrested or criminal charges were filed, you don't and won't have a record.



I feel so stupid. I actually paid one of those demand letters. It costs more for their attorneys to appear than it does for them to generate these letters and hope people pay.



So if I got caught stealing twenty dollars worth of merchandise. I got caught but police were not involved at all. I had to sign a paper and the guy said I'd receive a letter in the mail with a fine. Should I actually not pay this or will I get in more trouble/more money?