What to do about a shoplifting incident in which fault was admitted under duress?

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What to do about a shoplifting incident in which fault was admitted under duress?

I was allegedly of shoplifting at a rocery store in an amount of $20 from a self serve food bar. After I filled the box with food, I walked out of the store without paying for it. I was thinking about a project and listening to music when it happened. The lifting is unintentional. A guy who appears to be a plain cloth officer stopped me outside the store and asked me to follow him to a back room. He then presented me 3 papers to sign, which included no trespassing, civil demand and admission of shoplifting. He threatened me that if I didn’t sign them he would call the cops. So I signed them. Will they use it against me if I ignored the civil demand fine and the case went to court?

Asked on October 29, 2012 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about the situation. The person that took you to the back room will get a percentage of any civil demand fine that you pay. You will get some letter from a law firm in Florida making the civil demand. The letter is an improper and unfair business practice by the laws firm. I would not pay the demand. You might write back and advise the sender that you will be contacting your state's attorney general's office about the perceived illegal strong arm tactic.

There is no criminal matter against you. I would ignore the civil demand letters.


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