Can I waive a store’s shoplifting fine?

I’m a minor and was caught shoplifting at a couple of months ago. I was caught attempting to take 2 tank tops, which added up to a total of approximately $55-$60; I was given a fine of $425. I went into the store today to pay the fine and the sales clerk told me to call customer service to try and get it waived since it is my first time offese. So I was just wondering if it is possible to waive the fee or reduce it?

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so glad that you wrote here.  You are not obligated to opay the "fine" that the store says that you owe.  They did not prosecute, correct?  That is their remendy and you would not have to pay more than the value of the items plus any fine imposed by law. What you received is called a Civil Demand letter and while it is legal to send them you are not obligated to pay them.  Speak with ana dult that you trust and let them help.  Stires can not make deals with minors.  Learn a lesson from this.  Good luck.

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