What should I do if I was caught shoplifting $10 worth of items and the police were not called but now I have received a bill from their attorney for $250?

Asked on July 18, 2015 under Criminal Law, Oregon


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This letter is known as a civil demand letter. They are routinely made after a shoplifting incident but are rarely acted upon, so your chances of being sued are remote. Consequently, you can choose to ignore this letter if you want. And be aware, if you don't pay after this first letter you will get second, and it will request an even higher amount. To repeat, you can ignore it if you want. Again, most stores do not follow through with sueing for the money because of the cost and time it takes just to recover a nominal sum (in your case $10). Bottom line, you will have to decide whether or not to pay.

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