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CrimDefense
CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24931
Experience:  10+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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I was stopped by meijer LP what amounted to about

Customer Question

I was stopped by meijer LP for stealing what amounted to about 37$. They reclaimed the property, have my the civil demand for 200$ ,and started taking about my theft being very near their "minimum" value. I think I ended up being just over their minimum prosecuting value, but they did consider letting me off. The police were not called, although they accredited that to the response time in my city being very poor, and that they were emailing their report to the prosecuting attorney, who would then decide if they were going to prosecute. I am currently on probation for OWVI, and they said I should call the prosecutors office tomorrow to talk to them about not charging me. To my knowledge, the police have not been contacted, and I desperately want to keep it that way, and potentially manage this problem without them getting involved because jail time seems likely. Do you think they really plan to prosecute over 37$, and if so, what, if anything, should/could I say in my appeal to the prosecuting attorneys office? I am trying to get a job so I can pay off my student loans and hopefully find work in the medical field. Please, any and all news is helpful, and good news is especially welcome.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.
Good evening. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. The last thing you likely want to do is contact the prosecutors office and speak with them as a defendant an try and convince them not to file charges against you. I do think if the store wanted you arrested and the State to prosecute, the police would have been called at the time. Since the store got the merchandise back and they hope you pay the civil demand, that may be the end of it but I am unfamiliar with a store just being able to email the prosecutors office and tell them about what happened and decide if they want to charge you. As such, they may be trying to scare you but it is certainly not in the best interest to simply volunteer this information. Another thing you really need to be aware of is that if you are charged criminally, it would be a basis for a violation of your probation, which could get revoked. As such, if you are contacted by the police or receive something in the mail, you need to retain a criminal defense attorney at that time. The last thing you want to do when on probation is commit another crime, so this could lead to other problems, so lets hope that they do not report this. It is unlikely that they would just pick you up but you may be contacted or receive something in the mail. If you are charged, your probation officer may be aware and then violate you.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just for the sake of total transparency, I'm going to start listing facts that may be relevant; they did take down my info from my drivers license, wrote up and printed a report stating what I did, which they said I could sign or choose not to sign (I did not). They said that the paperwork was going to be emailed to someone, although they didn't specify who, and no attempt to call the police was made while I was there. While in the Loss Prevention room, I pleaded with them to let me repay the debt and any additional restitution in work or money outside of the court system, or deal with it without involving the police. One of them texted one of their superiors who they said would decide if my case would be pursued, and she got a text back saying "prosecute", although I have no idea who they were texting, what it really said, and as I mentioned, no effort beyond entering data into the computer was made in my presence. And I was there as long as possible in my efforts to avoid prosecution, they had to ask me to leave. They asked if I had ever done this before, and I told them I hadn't, which was a lie. When I was 18, I was charged with retail fraud 3, but it wasn't with them, and I haven't done it since. I'm in Michigan. Because they verbally mentioned that my theft was near their "minimum" I'm hoping that they a) won't check to hard to see if I have stolen before, b) may just decide not to pursue criminal charges, and c) may have just been hoping to scare me straight, and put me in their system. Thoughts?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I think if they did not call the police at that time, it is favorable. However, you do not know who they were speaking with or texting and they may have tried scaring you. It is impossible to know but as I shared, since the police were not called , that is somewhat favorable. The is store is not going to base their decision to prosecute on your prior, so no need to worry about that either.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Obviously, I am still extremely concerned. They said that "in 4 weeks I should call the police station, check for a warrant for my arrest, and then turn myself in." Realistically, they made that statement because they were not aware of my probation status, and if anything is filed against me, it won't take 4 weeks to hear from them, I'm confident that they will find me. I do find comfort in your feeling that since I was not detained on the spot, nor did I have any police interaction that it is good news, but they were very clearly unhappy, and they seemed certain that I would be getting a warrant out for my arrest. In your experience/knowledge, how would the process of them contacting the police and subsequently charging me go? And would there be a chance this might be forgotten or ignored on the behalf of anyone who would be responsible for moving it up the chain (LP, police, prosecutor), especially considering the very low value of the items taken?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
Had they wanted you arrested, they would have called the police then. Of course, it does not mean you can not be charged but reflects their efforts and intent. It is not up to you to call the police, prosecutor or turn yourself in, as they will contact you if charged and want to either arrested you or send you a notice to appear in court. Even though it was a low value item, theft is still theft and places will prosecute to send a message.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All of those statements make sense, and although it does little to put my mind at ease, I'm glad I know them. I am still curious about how the process would go, and how it may have been affected or influenced by them not calling the police. Additionally that information would be useful in figuring out who else I could try to appeal to in their company in order to try and avoid a legal action against me (ie volunteering to pay more, cut the lawns, clean dumpsters, anything). Also, in your experience, is shoplifting addressed by stores like meijer via email/online?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
The process would be as simple as them calling up the police in the county where the store is located and informing them about what happen and a report being made. It would then be turned over to the State to file and prosecute. There is no reason to appeal to anyone and make noise, as you are not going to change their mind, if they want to prosecute you. In my expeirence they will call the police. They may do stuff internally like document you and not have you enter the store but that is their own procedure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just so I'm clear on what you're saying, you think they will end up charging me? Or are you saying that if they will do anything, they will just call them as opposed to something else.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I think it is favorable that the police were not called. If they will do anything, then a call from the police or a notice to appear in the mail will be sent. I do not think you contacting them will influence their decision, as it has already been made. Moreover, do not stir things up
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And the fact that you find my outlook favorable is taking into account the fact that they seemed confident that in the next month a warrant would be issued for my arrest, and that they claimed to get a decision of "prosecute" from someone over text? Additionally, do you think they would contact me through the mail, even though they could come pick me up at anytime for violating my probation? For the record, other than my previously mentioned convictions, I've always been extremely clean behavior wise. I never use substances, get violent or destructive, nor have I ever violated probation. I was also completely cooperative during this event, although I was significantly distressed.
Finally, in your experience, how long would the police wait before acting on this, or how long would you expect it would take for me to hear bad news?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
The decision which they claim to have received was from someone internally, if it was truly the case. It is at the discretion of the State to file and prosecute, representing the store as the victim. It should not take a month for an arrest and it should be something that can be done within a week or 2. If you are charged and it hits the system and your PO checks, that is when a warrant would be issue for your arrest. For something like this, they would likely send you a notice to appear in the mail or ask that you come in and speak with them.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm just extremely scared at this point. I have made a few bad decisions, but I have a lot to offer now that I'm in PT school. I tried to take a pair of sunglasses and a bicycle pump, and in hindsight it was terrible and stupid and the thought it may ruin me professionally, educationally, financially and personally makes sick. I'm just looking for any ray of hope or tiny possibility that I can make this better before it gets horrendous. I'm almost completely broke, and I have no chances left. I'm going out of my mind.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I do understand. If it was me I would not do anything. Of course, if you want and it is at your sole discretion you can try and speak with someone at the store if you think you can convince them to do nothing but that is entirely up to you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you were going to make an appeal to the store staff, what would you do, to whom would you try and speak?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Obviously, I value your opinion not to do anything, and it may be better to hide and hope it passes over, but I'm still evaluating whether or not I should still try. I don't want to hurt myself, but I also don't want to think that there was something I could have done, and didn't.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
You would need to speak with someone in loss prevention, who is involved in such decisions.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I am going to be signing off for the night so I just wanted to see if there is anything else, prior to me leaving. If not, I kindly ask that you rate my help, so I can get credit and you are more then welcome to ask any follow up questions as needed and I will respond as quickly as possible
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
Hi, are you still with me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes sir, I was working. They didn't come for me yet, but I'm still very far from comfortable. If I was going to try and contact someone from LP, what do you think I should say to make them more sympathetic to my position?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
If you decide to do that, it is best to explain the consequences and what can result from this and the hardship it would cause and the long term effects. If they can be sympathetic, they may just tell you to not return and pay the civil fine and forget about this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I make that move sooner rather than later? And should I do it in person?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
If your goal is to try and get them to not proceed with charges, then the sooner the better, before they contact the prosecutors office. It may be best to call on the phone and ask to speak with someone in loss prevention and find out who handles these decisions and then speak with them over the phone.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you consider that the best, ***** ***** course of action? If you were in my position, and desperately needed not to be charged, what would you do?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
The decision is up to you, as I am not in a position to tell you what you should or should not do. You need to do what is going to put you at ease, since you are upset about this. There is no right or wrong answer and if you do not want to take the wait and see approach, you can call over and see if someone will speak with you. If you think you are going to be charged and want to make one last appeal for them not to, then contact them. If you rather leave it alone and let them do what they intend to, then do nothing and just wait and hope they do not take any action.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think reaching out to them to apologize would do more harm than good?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
Probably not. It should not result in them now wanting to file charges, if they did not before.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then I'll do it.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I wish you the best of luck and a favorable outcome with this whole ordeal. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please rate my help prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I spoke to the store director, who said that a police report was filed, and that it is up to the city of Lansing to decide if they are going to go through with prosecuting me. Additionally, he shared that at a total value of $35, he wasn't sure they would. He also said that I should call the police department to see if they are going to follow through, and that they are the ones that I should appeal to in order to not be prosecuted.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
You should retain and be represented by counsel, if you want or desire to contact the police and have them speak on your behalf. It is not very common for someone in your position to speak with the police about this and the store director has no clue what he is speaking about, when telling you to appeal to the police.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I'm finished, then? I guess I need you to be as explicit and clear as you can for me on this matter.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
If the matter was turned over to the police, you would have to anticipate misdemeanor charges being filed, in the third degree. If the store is pushing towards a filing of the case and prosecution, the matter will be turned over to the State for prosecution. If you want to make one last effort, you need to retain an attorney as I shared above, for them to contact the officer who is handling this and see if something can be done to avoid this. That is as clear as I can be. There is no way of knowing if the police will proceed but you need to proceed as they would.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm in the process of talking to lawyers, but nobody seems to know what to do because there haven't been charges filed. Thoughts?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 1 year ago.
Good evening. I am happy to still answer your questions related to this but kindly ask at this time, to please rate my help so I can get credit, since we have being going back and forth for a few days now. Rating me will not end our session and will be happy to continue working with you. Thank you for understanding.