If I was caught shoplifting but then paid for items and was banned from store, what happens now?

UPDATED: Jun 16, 2012

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If I was caught shoplifting but then paid for items and was banned from store, what happens now?

I was caught shoplifting appximately $40 at a department store. The loss protection agent did not call the police, he only asked me to pay for the items at the cash register and scanned my driver’s license. I signed a form stating that I would not enter any of their stores. Is a Civil Demand letter likely? Will this appear on a routine background check?

Asked on June 16, 2012 under Criminal Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to say whether a civil demand letter is "likely"--that depends on store policy and what the manager in charge of this matter wants to do. If you did take or damage anything, they can seek recovery of that cost, though if you did not take or damage anything, they would seem to have no grounds to hold you liable--someone can only recover for actual losses, so without a loss, there is generally no grounds for recovery.

If there is no demand and no criminal charges, this should not show on a background check. If there is a demand and you pay, then there will be no judgment against you, and again, it should not show. Things typically show on a background check when there is some adjudication or determination against you, or some unpaid debt.

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