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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12249
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Ok, so my friend and I shoplifted from a store. we got taken

Customer Question

ok, so my friend and I shoplifted from a store. we got taken by security and the police came and cuffed us and brought us to the station. But they only gave my friend a citation (his was over 500 dollars, mine was under). how come I didn't get a citation. the security at the store gave me a paper to call to discuss the civil restitution process, what is that about? why didn't the police give me a citation as well?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

It sounds like the store is giving you a break ... i.e., if you pay the civil restitution, then they won't seek to have you criminally prosecuted like your friend. The citation will leave your friend with a criminal record, while the civil restitution will not leave you with a record at all. The reason is likely the difference in the value of what was taken.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
even though I was taken to the police station and finger printed? I won't be procecuted?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again. Thanks for your patience, as I had logged off for the evening shortly after my initial response last evening.

Obviously, I can only speculate at what will happen based upon the facts that you shared. But it is common for a store to agree to forego criminal prosecution if the shoplifter voluntarily pays the civil restitution. Given the fact that the value of what you shoplifted is under $500 (which is 4th degree theft) while the value of what your friend shoplifted is over $500 (which is 3rd degree theft and more serious), and given the fact that you were not given a citation (even though you were fingerprinted) while your friend was given a citation, it appears that you may not be prosecuted if you pay the civil restitution. But you won't know for sure unless you contact the store and ask them. I would contact them using the number on the paper you were given, and I would specifically ask if you can avoid criminal prosecution if you willingly pay the civil restitution.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you need further clarification, and please remember to provide positive feedback. Thank you.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating to close out this question (and please remember that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!