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I was caught shoplifting worth 48 dollars, first time, no arrest, no police, today I received a demand letter for 250.00. What should I do.

Asked on August 6, 2016 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

These letters are known as "civil demands". While they are routinely made but rarely acted upon. Accordingly, your chances of being sued are virtually zero. Therefore, you can ignore this letter if you want, just be aware that if you don't pay you will get second letter that may even request a higher amount.  Again, you can choose to ignore it. However, if you decide to make payment, pay no more than about $50 (plus the retail value of any merchandise that may have been too damaged for them to re-sell). I would put this in a letter to the party requesting payment. Don't speak with them directly as these people or notorious for their threatening and intimidating tactics.  


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