What happens if you get caught shoplifting?
What happens if you get caught shoplifting? Watch as attorneys Rob Solomon and Tom Olsen explain!
Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, Rob. Let’s talk about criminal defense a little bit. Do you know people, I think, they're really quite surprised often that when you get caught shoplifting or your kids get caught shoplifting, you get a letter in the mail from the store that says, “By the way, you owe us X amount of dollars” just by the very fact of shoplifting? You haven’t necessarily even been charged by a crime but they can still write you a letter that you owe them money. I forget what the amount is.
Attorney Rob Solomon: That is actually a $200 sort of statutory amount that the store can say, “Look, if you’ll just pay us this amount, we won’t pursue you in civil court”. People get this letter even though there's never been a criminal charge that has been brought forward. Whether or not the person has even committed the crime, there is an attempt to make this collection to make you make this choice. This is sort of a civil remedy. We do see that. Some people are simply going to come to the conclusion, “Well, I’d rather not think about it” and so they’ll pay that amount.
Attorney Tom Olsen: That letter usually comes from a law firm as I understand, right?
Attorney Rob Solomon: Yes, it does, or if they have an in-house counsel or something. Basically, that’s the theme, “Pay this money and you won’t be hearing from us civilly again.”