I got caught shoplifting from a Walmart in Alabama. I went to jail and a few days later got something in the mail saying if I pay $200 they will drop charges and I will get a letter back. I paid the $200 and haven't heard anything back; my court date is in a week. I haven't talked to any lawyers. What should I do?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I know what letter you are referring to if you mean the collections firm from Florida. From my understanding, the $200 is a settlement for Wal-Mart not to pursue a $200 statutory recovery fee they are entitled to as a matter of civil law.
This has nothing to do with the criminal penalties but only the amount of restitution you might owe. The criminal charges may be dropped by Wal-Mart if you paid that fee but you still may be prosecuted by the District Attorney or Municipal Court. Wal-Mart cannot force a government agency to drop criminal charges once they are instituted.
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