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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22177
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I got caught shoplifting from a supermarket a year ago but

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I got caught shoplifting from a supermarket a year ago but was not charged by the Police - they said I would be let off with a warning. I again shoplifted from a department store about a year later (stupid I know) and the security guard said that the Police may follow it up even though he was not going to call them. If they follow this up will they then arrest me or give me a criminal conviction?

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : The police will only act on a complaint by the store. If the security guard is not going, someone else at the store could however. If you do get asked by the police to talk about this, they will have a record of the warning will be likely to prosecute you. This will result in a conviction, although you may qualify for diversion, which will avoid the conviction. Normally if you are convicted this is a fine for the first offence.
Customer: Ok, so even though the store decided to not call the police or take things further, the police could still match the report sent through with my first warning and decide to convict me?
christhelawyer : The police will only act if someone makes a complaint. If the store says nothing, the police will not know anything about this.
christhelawyer : But they do have a database for warnings, so that would come out, but not raised again. It stays as a warning only.

The store said that even though they werent calling the police at the time, they said they would be sending something through to the police. Will the Police use the report they send through as a second offence and then charge me? Or will they not do anything because they were not called at the time?


I am just really concerned about this going further and getting a criminal conviction that could stay with me for life over something small and silly.

christhelawyer : The police prefer to be involved sooner rather than later, and may not do anything if the store waits too long. But certainly the police can act on the complaint and then charge you. As I said earlier you may still avoid a conviction with the diversion scheme.
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