What is going to happen after shoplifting? 2 Answers as of June 25, 2012

I'm not proud of it, but I think I got caught shoplifting from a store. But I don't know. The security guard appeared at the door when I was at the checkout paying for something. I had some makeup in my purse. When I was done paying, he moved outside. He said into his walkie talkie "yeah I don't see the makeup anywhere. Want me to call Columbia police?" I didn't hear what the person on the other end said. Then when I was backing out, he was behind my car, saying what I can only assume was my license plate number and car description. I don't know why he himself didn't stop me, but I thought that was his job. I'm absolutely terrified that the police is going to trace my car because it's registered to my parents address and I don't want them to know. I threw the stuff away in a trash can in a parking lot. What should I do? What is going to happen? Please help me.

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The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
It's possible that the store will decide to press charges against you, but since they didn't detain you and call the police at the time, I would doubt they are going to pursue this matter. However, they might run your license plates and come to your parent's house looking for you to charge you with shoplifting. If you are charged with shoplifting, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court and hopefully get the charges reduced to a lesser offense. A conviction for shoplifting will stay on your record forever and will hurt your chances of getting a job, a loan, going to graduate school, etc. If the store does not press criminal charges against you, it is possible that the store will have its attorney send you a "Civil Demand Letter" asking for anywhere between $100 and $250 to repay the store for its losses. This is just a civil demand and you don't have to pay it unless the store sues you in court and wins a judgment against you, but stores have their attorneys send these letters anyway in the hope that the shoplifter will pay because they don't know any better. State laws do allow retail stores to sue shoplifters in court to recover money from the shoplifter. However, it's not likely that the store will spend the money to sue you for a few dollars worth of makeup.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/25/2012
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
Get to a lawyer right now. You may not ever have a consequence of your action since you were allowed to leave the store, but there may still be an inquiry or questioning related to it. If so, you will be your own worst enemy by talking and could still manage to get yourself charged and convicted. Remember the world is all on video also.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/20/2012
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