Legal Question: I have no excuse, nor do I know why I did, but, I stole a $3 item from a store. I told a friend about it (who worked for the retail store, he was not involved) about it. I had no idea why I stole it and just wanted at least one person to tell me something good.
A week later he called me and said he had heard that the store had become aware the object was missing (a wrapper). He doesn’t know how lost preventions handles such things, if at all. I could say what retail store, but this is a public forum so I will not.
However, I know there is probably video of me stealing the object. If they do come after me, would it be by police, certified mail…how would I get notified? This retail store has almost all my information. Address, name, date of birth, etc. because I worked for them year or so before this event.
Answer: If you’re convicted of Theft under $50, then the court can order you to pay a fine up to $500 plus court costs – but you cannot be sentenced to jail. However any type of theft conviction is considered a crime of “moral turpitude” branding you as a thief and a liar. The theft conviction is permanent and can never be erased. It will follow you the rest of your life and can make it very difficult to get a job or student loan. So if you’re charged with theft then hire a lawyer. And if you really don’t know why you shoplifted then consider enrolling in counseling now. The counseling may help you to correct your poor judgment so you don’t risk ruining your life again.