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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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my daughter basically stole $900 from restaurant she works

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my daughter basically stole $900 from restaurant she works for by comping meals and pocketing money. about 6 others were caught along with her. We know this is wrong and am willing to pay back. my question is that her employer is saying that she cannot quit, cannot be fired, and must pay him $120 week in cash until debt is paid or he will call the cops and have those who don't comply arrested. I told my daughter to tell him we want an agreement setting out the terms of the payback and receipts for any payments to prove that restitution was being made. I don't like his tactics. Also my daughter only works about two nights a week and doesn't make a lot of money, so he is not taking that into account and taking most of the money she makes so she will be unable to make her bills. Also he is giving the girls the agreement Monday to sign and wants the first payment then. if that happens, they will not have time to consult an attorney to see if it protects them from any wrongdoing by him. I am going in Monday with her and will tell him we will not sign the agreement until I have had a chance to have an attorney look at it. I believe this is my legal right - is that true? And if so can we withhold the first payment until the agreement meets both parties satisfaction without having him involve the police? Is that legally acceptable? If he threatens to call the cops if we don't sign, which is something my daughter does not want, she will sign it under duress as she doesn't want a police record. If we in good faith intend to pay, can he legally force her to continue working for him until debt is paid? If he will not allow us to have an attorney review the agreement, and I tell my daughter we are leaving and she is quitting, can that be used as a defense, his not letting us seek legal counsel, to her quitting and having him follow through with his threat to call the cops, even if we say will enter into an agreement and pay him back but only if both parties can reach acceptable terms? Would we be able to negotiate with prosecuters to plea bargain because of owner holding the threat over the girls' heads to make them remain at work? would it be better to have him file charges, and restitution be made through the courts as opposed to being forced to remain in an adversarial situation at work?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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The fact that she may enter into an agreement to repay the money wouldn't mean that the employer couldn't still file theft charges later on if he chose to. It is kind of like robbing a bank and then returning the money. The crime was still committed and if he did file criminal charges, she would be ordered to pay restitution in a criminal case.
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Even if he agreed in writing to not file criminal charges, there is nothing that would prevent him from doing so. If he did agree to not file charges, and then did, there is nothing daughter could really do. She couldn't sue him for breach of contract because she was in the wrong to begin with and a judge wouldn't award her any damages because she is only paying back the money she took to begin with.
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With that said, the employer likely just wants his money back and doesn't want to get involved in a criminal case where he had to take his own time off to go through 6 criminal cases. This would take a lot of his time and effort and he wouldn't receive any additional compensation for it. So it is very likely that he wouldn't bother filing criminal charges if the money was paid back.
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But no, he can't force her to continue to work there, but he could force her to repay the money, either civilly or by filing criminal charges. And no, his trying to compel the employees to remain and work off the debt and repay it wouldn't have anything to do with the criminal case.
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In a situation like this, she really doesn't have any leverage and I would opine that the best she could do is enter into the agreement to repay, but not agree that she couldn't quit. She could agree to pay the amount back, but also that it didn't matter where the money came from, either that job or if she quit and got another job somewhere else to repay him.
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But the worst outcome would be if she refused anything, he filed criminal charges and she ended up with a criminal misdemeanor (under $1000) for theft.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


So say she paid back like $500 - could he still file charges against her for the full $900? How long would a misdemeanor stay on her record and how would it affect her future employment opportunities?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the repayment of some portion doesn't erase the original crime. However, any restitution amount would reflect that she had paid the $500 back and she would only be ordered to pay back an additional $400. A misdemeanor stays on your record indefinitely, it never automatically "drops off" like a traffic ticket.
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And yes, assuming a future employer ran a criminal background check, they would see a conviction for "employee theft" and it would definitely hamper her employment efforts. So she should do everything in her power to prevent this from going criminal, whether it is borrowing money to pay him back, selling something, or taking a second job to get the money.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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Please don't forget to rate my service "OK" or higher. It is only then that I receive credit for my work.

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


So just so I'm clear - even if she pays it all back, she can still be charged with the crime? So she is at the mercy of the employer being a good guy and doing what he says not to report until the statute runs out? and even having an agreement or a paid in full notice could not prevent her being charged with a crime? If this is her first offense, is it likely if the employer did file after she paid off, would judge consider lowing charge because she did pay back and the employer even said he wouldn't press if she paid hold any weight for something in the context of a criminal proceeding?


 


Sorry to keep on - but I don't want her charged either but I don't necessarily trust employer to live up to his end. Can the employer black ball her by talking to other restaurant owners about his employees' theft? Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
So just so I'm clear - even if she pays it all back, she can still be charged with the crime? So she is at the mercy of the employer being a good guy and doing what he says not to report until the statute runs out? and even having an agreement or a paid in full notice could not prevent her being charged with a crime?
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Yes, as I mentioned previously, paying back the money doesn't erase the fact that a crime was committed.
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If this is her first offense, is it likely if the employer did file after she paid off, would judge consider lowing charge because she did pay back and the employer even said he wouldn't press if she paid hold any weight for something in the context of a criminal proceeding?
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I doubt the employer would file if she paid it back. As I said, criminal prosecutions take a lot of time for the "victim" to file the complaint, talk with the prosecutor, attend the trial, testify as a witness and then wait on restitution. He won't get paid for any of this time that he has to spend pursuing this. So I would opine that if he gets his money back, that is all he is interested in.
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Can the employer black ball her by talking to other restaurant owners about his employees' theft?
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Legally, yes, there is nothing that would prevent him from notifying other restaurant owners about this. But this could be embarassing for him since there were multiple people doing it and apparently it took a while to catch. So he may not want to look foolish to other restaurant owners by publicizing the fact that his management was so lax as to allow this to happen.
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Thanks.

Barrister

.

Please don't forget to rate my service "OK" or higher. It is only then that I receive credit for my work.

.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24582
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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Barrister
Barrister
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14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs