Will I go to court?

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Will I go to court?

Hi, I recently got fired from my job for stealing about $30. They sent me a letter to my home saying I have to pay $330 as a fee I guess. I will pay the amount, however I really want to know if I will go to court for this and if it will be on my record? I have never done anything like this before and I spoke to a loss prevention person and they told me that I would not since there weren’t any police present and it wasn’t a lot of money but they are not sure. I know never to do that again and I can’t help but be afraid. I’m 18 years old and in desperate need of answers.

Asked on October 3, 2016 under Criminal Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If they do not report it to the police or press charges, you will not face criminal court or criminal liabilty: the authorities only find out about thefts like this if someone reports it to them, so if no one reports it, you  will be fine.
If it is reported to the police, then yes, you could face charges, even if you repay: repaying stolen money does not "undo" the theft or mean it did not occur. That said, repaying the money shows contrition and responsibility on your part, as well as reduces or eliminates the harm done, so IF this were reported to the authorities, repayment would substantially increase the likelihood the authorities will dismiss or at least let you plead to lesser charges and/or get a lesser punishment.


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