I was caught shoplifting but the police were not called, should I turn myself in? 10 Answers as of February 24, 2012

I went through the checkout and didn’t pay for $120.00 worth of merchandise. It was the first time I ever did that, and I am very worried. I have a medical condition, had DVT and pulmonary embolism in the following week. I feel horrible what should I do? Should I plead guilty and just get it over with? The officer said he would call cops but didn’t, said I would receive warrant maybe. I paid the restitution and signed a paper admitting I took merchandise.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Unless there are criminal charges pending there is no reason to turn yourself in.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/24/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. You have a right to council. I'd recommend you exercise those rights. Occasionally, local prosecutors won't pursue retail fraud cases if the alleged defendant already paid the value of the merchandise and if authorities at the store do not wish to proceed. However, it's a matter of their discretion. Some bigger chains of stores have policies where they are required to request prosecution on every potential allegation of retail-fraud. By taking the steps you did, you probably resolved a potential civil claim filed by the store. However, the admission you signed could be used against you if there ever was a criminal case filed against you. Ultimately, the decision of whether to prosecute will be determined by the local prosecuting attorney. I'd recommend you contact a local attorney to look into the matter for you. If you call the local district court, they should be able to tell you whether a criminal complaint was filed against you and whether there is a warrant for your arrest. Retail Fraud, either third or second degree, are misdemeanors. If convicted, a person could be punished by jail, probation, or other sanctions. Those charges should not be taken lightly. However, the prosecutor does not have to prosecute every single possible case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/24/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Check with the local district court to see if there is a warrant. Sometimes they take several months to chage someone.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/24/2012
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
Wait till you hear from the cops.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/24/2012
Joseph T. Barberi, P.C.
Joseph T. Barberi, P.C. | Geoffrey K. Rettig
Depending upon the jurisdiction, when accused of this type of activity, a person is either given an appearance ticket requiring them to appear in court in so many days, or they are arrested and booked into the jail. Most minor charges result in the posting of a nominal interim bond pending your formal arraignment. I suspect you may be contacted soon to appear in court, or in a worst case scenario, arrested without advance notice. Contact the local District Court to determine whether you are on the docket for arraignment or whether there is an outstanding warrant. It is never wise to plead guilty "just to get it over with". An experience criminal attorney can assist you in determining how you show proceed. Many first time offenders have the option to avoid convictions for this type of mistake. Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/23/2012
    The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
    The best thing for you to do is nothing. Seriously. If you are contacted by police or prosecutor-say nothing more-hire an experienced lawyer. There are many things that can be done for you to mitigate or even have the matter dismissed at a later time, so please do not jeopardize your case by speaking with the authorities. Once again, do not do anything until you need to.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    There seems to be some level of uncertainty over whether you will be charged with a crime or not. Simply because the police were not called to the scene does not mean that there will not be an arrest warrant. Often, the store report is sent to the local prosecutor with a request for a warrant and that can take weeks to months. You should check with the police and the court to see if a warrant has been issued from time to time, or perhaps the store will tell you if they referred the matter for a warrant. Don't ever plead guilty without an attorney, there is almost always something that can be done even if you are 100% guilty and they can prove it. At this point, you can't turn yourself in unless there is a warrant to turn yourself in on, so you need to find that out, or have a lawyer find out for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Hilf & Hilf PLC
    Hilf & Hilf PLC | Daniel Hilf
    You should consider hiring an attorney to look into the matter for you, especially considering the stress this issue can have on your health. There is a possibility that the matter will not be prosecuted, depending upon the merchant. If the matter is prosecuted, a good criminal law attorney can help you obtain the best possible result. There is even a possibility that you can avoid having a conviction on your record, depending upon your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    J.W.Poprawa, Attorney at Law | Joseph W. Poprawa
    You should wait until you hear from court.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    DO NOTHING!!! You may not get charged at all. Its up to the store and the officer. You paid the civil restitution but will get more serious if the charges come. If no charges come, consider yourself very lucky. If you do get charged, contact me immediately to discuss as there is a lot of things I can do for you, including a deal to keep the conviction off of your permanent criminal record, which can be very damaging to future job options.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
Click to View More Answers: