Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Statue of limitations for petty theft in California.

I put my two weeks notice in at a job I had a K-mart as a cashier. During my last two weeks I was pulled into the office and was shown 3 video tapes of me checking out employees with discrepencies. I had an explaination for all three. They told me they believed me but felt I needed some additional training before I continued working and since I was leaving in about a week anyway I should just go ahead an consider it my last day. Now just today 2 1/2 years later I got this letter from a law firm asking for $250 or K-Mart will file a claim against me under penal code 490.5 for this incident. What is the statute of limitations for penal code 490.5. The date of the incident according to them is 4/21/99. Also if they are still within the statute of limitations, what could happen to me if they really did go ahead and file a complaint? I am innocent and don't think I should pay $250 for something I didn't do but if it is going to cost me that much to prove my innocence, I might as well just pay it. And finally if it wouldn't cost me much to prove my innocence, based on the few facts I gave you, do you think I might be found guilty? Shouldn't they have called the police right then two years ago if they doubted my innocence?

Asked on 9/05/01, 3:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Victor Hobbs Victor E. Hobbs
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Re: Statue of limitations for petty theft in California.

490.5 is a very long section. However, there is a provision for a store to recover a portion of their cost of security from a person convicted of shop lifting. Your name somehow got into the system and they sent you a form letter. I think it is best for you to ignore the letter; or second best choice would be to write them back, and tell them you were never charged or convicted.

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Answered on 10/24/01, 8:54 pm

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