I was caught stealing $20 headphones from Kmart. No cops involved. They got my info down. Im only 17 and they called my parents. They said we would be getting a ticket for $250 in the mail in the next 2 weeks to.few months. What should I do? Should I pay? What's the most that can happen? It's really nerve racking just wondering.
I live in California by the way.
What should you do? Stop stealing and risking your future employment opportunities over something so trivial. What will happen? You will probably receive a civil demand letter. If you do, just ignore it as it's not a court judgment. After that, you will probably receive more letters. Just ignore them. They will most likely not pursue a judgement to collect as it's too expensive and not worth their time. With all respect, you will be an adult soon. Start thinking about your future. A criminal record can have a huge impact on any career you might want to pursue. Best of luck.
Ignore any civil demand letter from Kmart. This is not a judgement it is merely a demand. They will have to sue you and get a judgement to collect. That will never happen because it's too expensive and time consuming. There was no arrest or citation so I doubt the DA will file charges against you. This would be a Penal Code 484 petty theft violation should you be charged. The statute of limitations is 1 year for the DA to file this case against you. It is a crime of MORAL TURPITUDE so hopefully you won't be prosecuted. This will ruin your future employability so I hope that should you be charged at some point you will schedule free local consultations with criminal defense attorney(s) or a juvenile attorney. Your parents would also be required to attend your court date with you. In my home county we offer diversion courses for first time offenders and successful completion leads to the case being dismissed. Good luck to you. I hope you find this helpful?
The "most that can happen" is the store notifies the police, who file a report and the prosecutor then files a case against you as an adult. This is unlikely, but it is it "the most." Then the prosecutor could insist upon six months in jail time and a $1,000 fine, plus penalties and assessments (total of about $4,500) for you as the "most." The judge would also order that you stay away from all KMarts for three years. This is all quite unlikely, but is only offered to answer your question.
Sounds like you will receive a "civil demand" letter in the mail. Most attorneys here on AVVO and throughout CA advise their clients to NOT PAY the civil demand. Nothing happens other than you receive more letters. IF you are notified to appear at the probation department or juvenile court, retain an attorney. Otherwise, QUIT STEALING, and IGNORE the civil demand letters.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--20 years experience.
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