LP caught me leaving Shoprite with three essential oils worth $23. He pulled me into the security room and confiscated the items, took my information, and took a picture which is totally embarrassing. I complied and was not combative or defensive in any way. He told me that the police will not be called but that I should be expecting a letter in the mail demanding I pay a $150. My anxiety started to kick in and I don’t remember everything else he said. Please what should I expect next because my anxiety is beating me up? This is my first time experiencing anything like this; I’ve never had any police/security/law issue and I feel like crap. Believe me I’ve completely humbled myself. what should I expect in the letter?
The letter will most likely request you pay a certain fine amount, in lieu of Shop Rite pursuing criminal charges. If you do not, Shop Rite could refer the matter to the local police department who could then issue you a summons for shoplifting.
Some lawyers on this site say ignore the letters because it is too costly to file a law suit for the little amount they can recoup, and other lawyers on this site say pay the demand because there is always a chance that criminal charges can be filed. There are many threads on this site about civil demand letters and you can read the many answers that others received.
You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Use the "Find a Lawyer" tab on this site and choose someone from your locale. Many lawyers on Avvo offer a free phone consultation.
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.
I slightly disagree with Mr. Sposato. The "civil demand" is in lieu of civil suit not criminal charges. You can pay and they still can file criminal charges for a year. You could not pay and they can file criminal charges. Read the AVVO archives of this. There are two schools of thought.
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