How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Legal-Guru Your Own Question
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Legal-Guru is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had a shoplifting incident at wal mart and was brought into

This answer was rated:

I had a shoplifting incident at wal mart and was brought into a room with security, they filled out my information and i returned the merchandise and the cops were not called. I then received a letter from wal mart asking to pay $300. The item that is in question was only 8 dollars, and i was wondering if i should pay wal mart, or if this is just their way of trying to get money because i dont know any better?
Welcome to JustAnswer. Many states have laws that entitle the merchant to sue shoplifters. I am researching Louisiana law and will be with you shortly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay thanks i will wait for clarification

Louisiana does in fact have a civil remedy statute for shoplifting. It entitles the merchant to sue for the value of the merchandise if it is not returned in a merchantable condition plus a penalty of $50 to $500. (See link below.)

So since they got the property back and assuming the item was still in its original packaging, if you went to court and they proved you shoplifted the judge could order you to pay anywhere between $50 to $500.

Also, even though the statute I linked to mentions leaving the premises with the property, there is a Louisiana Court of Appeals opinion that says that does not matter. (See link below.)

One thing you might try is making a lower counteroffer perhaps $100 or $150 and see what they say. Otherwise, your options are to pay it or take your chances with the judge.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so if i dont pay it at all they will seek legal action?

Almost certainly. The law firms that do these cases for Wal-Mart make a decent amount of money based on the large volume of cases they handle for them. Most of the money probably goes to the law firm. Wal-Mart is not really in it for the money. They just want to discourage shoplifting.
Legal-Guru and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Criminal Law Questions