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Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 585
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
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I got caught shoplifting at lord and jacket worth 174$ my

Customer Question

I got caught shoplifting at lord and taylor for a jacket worth 174$ my record is clean what will happen to me if i pay all the fines ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Good Evening:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to answer your question in this unfortunate circumstance. Before I begin, however, I would like to inquire into whether or not you know the exact charge you are facing. I understand it is retail theft, but do you happen to know what class it is? (assuming it is a misdemeanor)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no idea what class it is
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They just told me ill have to pay a fine. And let me go. I dont know if i have to go to court or not
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.


Usually with shoplifting, there are both criminal and civil ramifications. When you don't have to court and simply just "pay" a fine, that is generally the civil remedy (which is actually good for your background). This is what this may be. Before I answer this portion, I just want to make sure. Were you arrested by police and taken in or not? If not, it looks like you may have caught a break with your criminal background.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No i haven't been taken by police. I simply signed a paper saying that im not admitted to the store unless i pay the fines. They took my information and a picture and i just walked away. Nothimg more
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Also, who is "they"? Just to be clear.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The people who where watching me behind cameras. They kind of work for the store
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There were no police involved
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

I understand. What this appears to be is the store "giving you a break" by giving you the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by paying a fine and fee. Under Virginia law, stores are entitled to recoup via a fine which is generally separate from any criminal charges. I have attached a link to the law here:

It appears that the store just wants their money (plus any extra fees or expenses incurred by them) and will not report you to police. THIS IS VERY GOOD FOR YOU. The reason it is good is because no criminal charges are/will be filed. If no arrest and criminal charges are filed, you WILL NOT have any criminal history, just like before the shoplifting.

Sometimes stores do this so they can avoid the time and expenses required to contact police, file charges, go to court and testify against you. These resources, the store believes, would be best used for keeping an eye on other shoplifters rather than wasting time with one person (you) going back and forth to court.

So, to answer your question, if you pay the fine, you will STILL not have a criminal history. You would be in the same position as you were in before you walked into the store.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. I would be more than happy to answer them. If not, please click "accept" and leave positive feedback as that is the only way I can receive credit for my response. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have to appear in court? Last question
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Court appearances would be required ONLY if police were contacted and determined that there was probable cause to believe you committed the offense. From what you are telling me, police had zero involvement in this case. If so, then you would not have a court date unless at some point you receive a summons to appear.

Store employees (private citizens) do not have the authority to issue court dates. So again, based on what I have been told, it does not appear that you are required to go to court.

May I ask what county did this occur in and when did it occur? I ask because there may be a way I can remotely access any court information to double-check if you have to go to court or not (which, based on what you've told me, I do not think you have to appear).

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.


I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving. I am checking in on whether or not you have any follow up questions. If not, please remember to click "accept" and leave feedback as that is the only way I can receive credit for my response. Thank you.