What do I do with a civil demand?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What do I do with a civil demand?

I received a notice saying that I might receive a civil demand. I am a little confused as to what the notice actually means and if the store can sue me. This is my first time ever receiving this so I am a bit confused as what to do now. Do I pay the civil demand? How long do they have to press criminal charges on me?

Asked on August 6, 2018 under Criminal Law, Colorado


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I assume that your question is about shoplifting.
You will receive a letter (civil demand) from the store demanding payment of an amount that is considerably more than the value of the stolen items. The letter will require payment by a certain date. If payment is not made by the deadline,  criminal charges will be filed.
If full payment is received by the deadline, that will end the matter without criminal charges. The letter will explain everything.
Therefore, it is advisable to timely pay the amount demanded to avoid criminal charges because a criminal record will be an obstacle to future employment.

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