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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20395
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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i got caught shoplifting at walmart..this is the first time

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i got caught shoplifting at walmart..this is the first time i have ever done anything like this and im not sur ewhy i did it inthe first place..I am wondering what is going to happen.

A lot of what might happens depends of a few factors. Some of those factors have to do with the value of what you were caught taking and your prior criminal record. If the value is fairly low and you do not have any criminal record you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted of a misdemeanor there would likely be fines and court costs to be paid. There are also pretrial diversion programs that you might qualify for where you can participant in exchange for a nonprosecution. If you qualify, you may be eligible for a public defender, if so, speak to them about your options. If not, you can retain your own criminal attorney or represent yourself. Since this would be a criminal case and a criminal record would result if you were convicted, I would seriously consider having legal representation.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just to add to question. When i was caught they took me into a room and asked me for stolen merchandise which was like 4 dollars total..dont ask me why i stole it...stupid i guess...especially since i had money to pay for it. I gave them the mercahandise and then they took down my information. I was extremley frightend being the first time this has ever happened. I asked them if I was going to be arrested and they said they were not sure. The head security guy went out and talked to the manager and the manager decided not to call the cops and to let me go. They did however give me a piece of paper that sadi that they may pursue their rights. The security guy said that i might get a letter in a couple of weeks or i might not. But because they did not call the cops I will not be arrested or have anything on my record right? I made a bad mistake and know thati was wrong. I havent been able to sleep or eat much since not just because i got caught but because i did something so stupid...i am 22 years old. With this letter that i may get will i just have to pay a fine or will there be more? I am getting married in about 2 months and my fiance doesnt know about this.Im just not sure what to expect.
Hello againCustomer

Thank you for the additional information. Unfortunately our system has a little glitch and we seldom get the additional information when we first see the question. I apologize for that. Okay so the police were not called and the amount of goods you were caught with were minimal. Those facts are good for you. At this point, although there are no guarantees, it looks like you have dodged a bullet here. Any letter that you get from Walmart may be a letter that bans you from the store. They can do that. Hopefully that won't happen but if that is the worst thing to come out of this, then all is well. If by some strange chance they go forward with prosecution, which I seriously doubt at this point, I would definitely consult with an attorney. The attorney may be able to negotiate a no prosecution based on the facts of the case. I think you will be fine here but it is important that you never do anything like this again. If you got caught, especially at Walmart, doing this again, they are not likely to show you mercy. If you think you might have a problem, you should consider seeing a counselor.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much. I dont think that i will ever be able to go back in to walmart i am so ashamed. I dont think my stomach is going to stop hopping till i get that letter if it even stops then. So bascially because they did not call the cops then for the most part i should be ok? I just might get a letter banning me or a letter to pay a fine?? If they were going to prosecute me then most likely they would have called the cops right then right?? I do not have any criminal record of any kind so i am hoping thta will help me out on my mistake.

Walmart can't fine you since they don't have any judicial or prosecutorial power. The only thing their letter would state is that you are either banned from entering the store, or that they are going to pursue prosecution. As I said before, that is unlikely since they did not call the police at the time of the event.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok thank you so much for your help!
Your welcome.