If my wife was caught shoplifting but the police were not called, can the storefile charges later?

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If my wife was caught shoplifting but the police were not called, can the storefile charges later?

A $3 food item from a grocery store. The store did not call the police but took her picture and told her not to return to any store again. Since they did not call the police to file a report at the time of the incident, can they file charges against her at a later time? Say if they decide to change their mind or something.

Asked on February 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This question is best asked to a criminal attorney in your state.  From what I can see this would be a misdemeanor offense (not a gross misdemeanor but a regular misdemeanor) and then I believe that the statute of limitations is one year.  You may get a letter in the mail soon asking for money as a form of restitution to be paid to the grocery store.  Do not pay it and go and get an attorney as soon as you possibly can.  At that point in time you will need legal representation on the matter.  You may want to consider consulting an attorney regardless.  Try legal aid or legal services in your area.


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