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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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i was doing grocery from one of whole food suppermarket in

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i was doing grocery from one of whole food suppermarket in oakland .actually i do grocery from the same place onec or twice every week. yesturday i did shoping as usuall but i want some cream for my ezema and i asked one of the employer to help me and she recomend me one of from the shelf and i pull it and try to read to get som information and i carry on my kind stroler . to be clear the grocery staffs was have for me so i put somestaffes on the stroler and some on the shoping basket and i unloaded the all staffes from the stroller and from the bascket. i made $60 payment and i left the the grocery .unfortunatly one of the security guy followed me and asked me about the cream it was on the stroler honestly i thought i already make payment for the all staff and when itry to cheak it i didn't pay becouse i wasn't unloaded from the stroller but he didn't undestand me and he asked me to sign tow papers one that i didn'n make payment for the cream and do not any shopping from the supermarket any more .so now i'm worried about what will be the future concequenses and what shall i do
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :


Zachary D. Norris :

I'd be happy to help you

Zachary D. Norris :

Let me review your fact statement and then we can begin.

Zachary D. Norris :

I see you've gone off line. I'm going to switch to the Q&A format to further answer your question.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.
From what you've said, it appears that you mistakenly walked out of the store without paying for an item. The guard got you, but instead of believing that you had made an honest mistake, the guard required you to sign two documents, one admitting that you took the item, and two a document showing that you agree to not shop at the store any more.

In this situation, the legal issue you are dealing with is theft under the California Penal Code Section 484. Since you had no intent to steal the cream, but only did so because of mistakenly leaving it on your baby stroller when checking out, you have a defense to any charge of theft.

However, it does not appear that WholeFoods intends to charge you with theft. I'm concerned that your signed statement is an admission to theft. However, if Wholefoods does not bring any charges, you will likely not see any consequences. That will likely remain the case unless you go back to that WholeFoods again.

The second document you signed stated that you agree not to come back to the store again. If you do go back to that store, Wholefoods may then decide to press charges on you for the prior incident and use the signed statement against you.

You can send a letter to Wholefoods corporate headquarters and to the store manager explaining the situation and requesting that they destroy the documents you signed and allow you to return to the store. Beyond that, there are not likely any other legal remedies which could assist a person in your shoes under the facts you have stated so far. That being said, there is a potential claim for a civil rights violation based on the potential circumstance that the security guard wrongfully discriminated against you because of your national background or race. However, the facts laid out don't fully support such a claim at this time.

Please let me know if you have any need for clarification.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yeah zachary i understand what you said but still i want to kow if they bring carge on me what the consqueceses look like p/s answer this question for me


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i want to know if the the supermarket charges me what the consquenses on me
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.
If the supermarket decides to charge you with theft, it will likely be a misdemeanor theft charge against you.

The penalties for committing a petty theft under California Penal Code 484 & Penal Code 488 typically include a maximum of three years of informal probation, up to six months in a county jail, and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.

But, if this is your first California petty theft charge (and you have no other theft or "theft-related" convictions), and the value of the money, property, services, etc. that you allegedly stole was $50 or less, your California petty theft attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce your charge to an infraction. If your case is reduced, you face a maximum $250 fine.8

If it is your first theft or "theft-related" offense, but the item(s) exceeded $50, you may be able to participate in a diversion program. Informal diversion is a type of "deal" that your California shoplifting defense attorney may be able to make with the prosecution.

In exchange for a dismissed charge, you may be required to do any or all of the following:

Repay the value of the merchandise which you allegedly stole;

Complete an agreed to number of community service hours; and/or

Attend anti-theft classes.

This would be if they did not dismiss the charge against you since you did not intend to steal the cream.
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