accused of theft of items taken over the time of 5+ yrs= to $1500. They want payment orI get jail time $50 a mo. Can they do this?

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accused of theft of items taken over the time of 5+ yrs= to $1500. They want payment orI get jail time $50 a mo. Can they do this?

I worked for a clothing company. They had me come. They said they have video & voice recording of me stealing. They suspended me. They said I have to pay a sum of $1500 back to the store in $50 payments or jail time. This has been going on for yrs. and now they’re bringing it up.

Asked on April 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not quite sure of the facts as you presented them.  Have you been suspended for years?  Exactly how long ago did this happen?  Have you made any payments at all during this time?Making some assumptions here I'll say they are only now wanting you to startpaying them back (this is also called making "restitution").

There is something called the "statute of limitations".  This essentially means that if you are not charged with a crime within a certain time period that you can never be charged.  However not knowing the time period in question I can't say whether or not the limitations period has tolled (that means is over and they can't go after you).

You will need to speak with an attorney in your area about this.  Try the Public Defender's office.  They may be able to help out and for free.

If however they are within the legal time limit then charges can still be brought against you and possible jail time may be involved.  If they are offering you a chance to pay them back you should take them up on it.  Why deal with the criminal justice system if you don't have to?  Besides, the court will have you make restitution anyway.


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