Will shoplifting go on my record even if I paid the fine? 23 Answers as of June 13, 2013

I'm 18 years old and I got caught shoplifting $89 dollars in clothes from a department store. Security stopped me as I was leaving the store and I was told to come to the back with them. I was not arrested, because I stole under $100 dollars worth of stuff. I was given 2 documents to sign. One was saying that I admit to shop lifting and that I won't enter the store anymore. The other document was about paying a $200 dollar fine, which I paid for before I left. So what I'm wondering is with this go on my record? Also will I be sent to court for this, even though already paid my fine.

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You did not pay a fine, you paid a civil fee that retailer can charge you. If the store wants to pursue the charges, they need only present your signature and video to the local prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/25/2012
The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
You will not have to go to court and it will not go on your criminal record because there is no criminal case. If the store did not call the police and you were not issued a ticket or given a court date, then there is no criminal case.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 11/12/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
There are two different things. What they had you pay is a civil fine that the store can get for shoplifting. If has NOTHING? to do with being prosecuted criminally for the theft. If you are prosecuted for theft you may end up paying a fine to the government. This is separate. Get a lawyer, if brought into court. DO NOT plead guilty. You will lose all bargaining power. If convicted you could get a permanent record. The lawyer may be able to work it out so you have no record. This is huge. What employer wants to hire a thief?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Yes! Paying the civil fine for shoplifting has no bearing on whether criminal charges are filed against you. At this point, if you have not been charged, the theft is not on your record. However, if you admitted to shoplifting you may expect a letter from the prosecuting agency in your county demanding that you appear at an arraignment date. This is why it is so important to never speak to the police or security when you are arrested, detained, or charged with a crime.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/8/2012
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
Once you have been criminally charged it will show on your background check. After you have completed the terms of your sentence you can have your record expunged.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/8/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    The civil fine has nothing to do with a criminal charge. State statute allows the store to collect a civil fine. You can expect to hear from the applicable law enforcement agency. Depending upon your jurisdiction, you may be directed to an available diversion program or, alternatively, you will be directed to appear in court on a given date.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Billam & Henderson, LLC
    Billam & Henderson, LLC | Courtney Taylor Henderson
    The store likely provided a trespass warning and a document regarding a possible civil fine. If law enforcement is contacted and a report is made, it is still possible that to be charged with theft. The documents the store issued to not prevent any criminal liability from arising. If you are charged with a crime, then it will likely appear on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Office of Edmund P. Allen Jr. | Edmund P. Allen Jr.
    The $200 payment to the store was probably a civil restitution amount that they are authorized by law to get from people caught shoplifting. This is separate from any court fines. You should get a lawyer to fight the case in court. There are oftentimes ways to get the case dismissed, based upon your payment of the money to the store.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
    If you were not given a court date then they handled the matter civilly with a fine and your agreement not to go back. You were lucky if they did not have you arrested as that could result in a criminal record. You must make better decisions in the future and not get arrested or you will hurt your chances of getting a good job.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    Unless you are granted some sort of diversion program any conviction will be on your criminal record. If that is a concern hire a lawyer that will work to get you into this type of program.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You don't say how long ago this happened. It is still quite possible that that you will be charged criminally. If you are convicted, yes, it could very well become a permanent part of your record.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. The "fine " was not a fine. Only a court can impose a fine. You foolishly paid a civil demand. take letter. see criiminal attorney re the letter. There will be no criminal record as no cops and no court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    You may or may not. It all depends on the store.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    You paid the civil penalty - there could still be a criminal complaint signed against you wherein you would face Court fines and penalties
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Who did you pay the fine too Was it a police authority or the store itself? Right now, you do not have an arrest record, as you were not taken into the station, and did not have your fingerprints taken, or a mug-photo taken by the police. If you paid the money to the store, there is a possibility you might be arrested formally by the police, but let me say, this is unlikely. If notified by the police, you should hire a lawyer to represent you, and perhaps he can work out a deal with the prosecutor to keep it off your permanent criminal record. Just do not go back to that store again.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Of course it will. Paying the civil fine will do absolutely nothing to take care of the criminal case in court. the two are completely separate. You need to hire a lawyer, because a theft on your record will destroy you school/career aspirations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The fine you paid was a civil penalty. You will still probably receive a summons to court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren | Russell A. Warren
    When you pay or are assessed a fine, you essentially have "plead guilty" and have accepted a conviction on that matter! You should contact an attorney immediately as the statute of limitations for "withdrawal of guilt pleas" is running. You will want to look into overturning that plea if possible.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It sounds like you will avoid a conviction based on what the store did. Don't go back in for a long time and avoid any more harmful actions.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If the matter was closed, and the police were not notified PERHAPS it is over. If they send the documentation to the authorities you could easily be prosecuted, but unless you are it will not be on your criminal record. If you are contacted by the authorities engage and attorney immediately
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Were you arrested or given a notice to appear by the cops? It is a misdemeanor, a criminal charge.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
    You are looking at a misdemeanor charge of theft. That carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. You will not likely get sentenced to jail. There are some legal mechanisms that will allow you to keep this conviction off your record. This is a significant opportunity you should not pass up. You will need a lawyer to have the best chance to keep the conviction off your record and know all the rights and problems with this course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    It sounds like you paid a civil demand. If the store didn't get you arrested at the time they won't now. You got off lucky. You don't have a record because you weren't arrested.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/6/2012
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