Legal Question in Civil Litigation in United States Minor Outlying Islands

Shop Lifting

My daughter was given a ticket

''Notice to Appear in court for shop

lifting. I'm sure the court will charge

us money, and other programs. The

business sent us a letter saying we

refused to answer their first letter

(we never saw) and now they want

$657.94, PC 490.5 (b) and/or (c).

Can they do this. How do I stop


Asked on 6/18/09, 12:45 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: Shop Lifting

Your daughter owes the $657.94, plus whatever fines or jail time are imposed by the court system. The $657.94 is to defray the costs of the store's loss prevention efforts, so that honest people do not have to pay these costs in the form of higher prices. You should contact a criminal defense lawyer in your locality well in advance of your court date.

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Answered on 6/18/09, 1:03 am
Jerold M. Gorski Law Offices of Jerold M. Gorski

Re: Shop Lifting

While you may question whether the business sent the first letter and/or whether your daughter shoplifted anything, as a parent, you ought not assume anything. While I would not automatically trust the business either, consider various likely scenarios; e.g., young and otherwise good people sometimes do shoplift and kids often intercept letters without the parents knowledge. As you already realize, this business should not be pursuing this unless they have good evidence, and thus, you should assume -- for the sake of your daughter -- that they not only have some evidence, but that they even have several clear videos of her shoplifting. The California Penal Code, in additional to criminal penalties, also provides that the business can hold a parent and unemancipated minor jointly and severally liable (i.e., they can collect from both or either of you). As noted, call a criminal defense attorney without delay.

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Answered on 6/18/09, 1:39 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Shop Lifting

"Can they"? They already did, didn't they? Yes, they can sue for damages in addition to filing criminal charges. Unless she knows how to effectively represent herself in court against professional prosecutors and company attorneys, she should hire an attorney to handle and resolve both sides of the problem. He may be able to work out a 'civil compromise' acceptable to everyone. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 6/18/09, 12:53 pm

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