If I got a civil restitution fine of $250 for shoplifting over a year ago but neither the police or courts were involved, will it be on any of my records?

Asked on January 30, 2013 under Criminal Law, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The only way to have a criminal history record is to have been in the criminal justice system (e.g.have been arrested). The fact is that you got lucky here. While the civil restitution may well be in excess of what was taken it may be worth your while to pay it. At the very least, you may be able to negotiate it to a leseer amount. The fact is that, if someone fails to pay a civil restitution no further action is typically taken against them; that's because the store can ask the criminal court to make the defendent pay restitution, in addition to any other sentence the court may impose. However, since no criminal action has been taken to date (and in fact may never be), you don't want to chance that the store will file a criminal complaint now. This will only make a bad situation worse. Try to pay something.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.