Can a person who is merely with someone who is caught shoplifting be fined?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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Can a person who is merely with someone who is caught shoplifting be fined?

My 17 year old daughter was at a store with a friend who stole makeup. When my wife picked her up the guard said we could have to pay a fine from $100-$1000. Can they really fine us when she didn’t commit the crime?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The store per se cannot fine your daughter who was at the wrong place and at the wrong time with her friend who stole make up. The store could possibly file a lawsuit against your daughter and her friend for claimed damages seeking to prove liability and damages. If sucessful, there could be a judgment against your daughter later on that she would ultimately be responsible for.

If your daughter was not charged with a crime for being an accessory to a shoplifting incident, she really has nothing to worry about. From what you have written, it seems that the guard for the store was trying to scare you and your daughter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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