The civil action does not create a criminal record
, it is part of the civil recovery statute. If your girlfriend had proof she purchased the pants, then she needs to send a dispute to the attorneys with a copy of the proof of purchase and explain the situation (even though she broke the store policy in her actions) and dispute their claim. If they proceed to court in a civil action, you have a valid defense since she did not steal anything, she paid for the pants and was entitled to an even exchange, but if you lose she would be taxed with attorney's fees on top of the $225.
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