How best to handle a trespassing/shoplifting incident in a store?

I was caught drinking power drink without paying for it. They made me sign 3 sheets of paper, 1 of them was a trespassing notice. When I was asked if criminal charges were going to be brought, they said that they won’t unless I come back again to the store. I might be banned for 5 years from all the chain stores, he said. Will I have to pay a penalty? I was wondering how they usually proceed in these cases. To confuse them more, I actually ended up buying drinks that day. I am wondering if a letter with the ticket would make them believe it was a mistake?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were written up for trespassing and shoplifting involving a power drink that you did not pay for before first consuming, the best way to handle the situation is to wait and see if you are cited by the district attorney's office for an offense. If so, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you are going to be cited, you most likely will receive a citation in the mail.

If you send the store a letter with a receipt in an attempt to show that you actually had paid for the drink that you were caught with that you did not pay for, doing such could very well cause more problems than good for you in the end. The store most likely has a time code on the receipt to cross reference with video cameras the times that you were in the store and when you bought the second drink.


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