Can I be arrested for trespassing if I entered a store that I had promised to never go into after a shoplifting incident?

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Can I be arrested for trespassing if I entered a store that I had promised to never go into after a shoplifting incident?

I was charged with shoplifting from a store a year ago. I went to court, paid my fine and did community service. I had the charge expunged from my record. Today I went back to the store for the first time since that time to return a sweater for my mom. When they entered my driver’s license into the computer to complete the return, they said it had to be handled at a corporate level and I would have to wait to be contacted by them. I left the store and then I realized – I had signed a paper back when I was charged saying I would never enter their store again. I had completely forgotten about it. Now I’m terrified I’ll be arrested for trespassing. Could the police show up at my house? What will happen?

Asked on August 31, 2013 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Technically, what you did would be trespassing: you went someplace you had no persmission or right to be.

Practically, given the circumstances--a year later; you had a legitimate reason (a return); you caused no trouble and then left; etc.--it's unlikely that you would be arrested; if arrested, it's unlikely you will be charged; and even if charged, it's very likely the prosecutor would agree to dismiss the case or accept a very minimal punishment.


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