Theft Crimes Attorney in Lynnwood, WA
What to do With Civil Demands From Stores
Shoplifting in Washington is governed by a special law that allows retail
stores to assess civil penalties against a person caught shoplifting,
even prior to the criminal case being completed. Some large retail stores
are especially aggressive about pursuing these types of civil demands.
Stores such as JC Penney, Macy's and Nordstrom have litigation departments
that regularly send out demand letters to those accused of theft. If used
properly, these demands are one of the best ways to get your theft charge
dismissed in Washington State.
A civil demand often entails a threatening letter from a law firm representing
the store in question that states a repayment amount, a repayment date,
and the threat of a law suit if you do not comply. I have copies of sample
letters from all of the local stores in my office, so I know the best
way to handle each one of these demands. Whatever you do, do not pay the
civil demand yourself. By paying the demand through my office, we have
a much better chance of securing a civil release that we can use later
to attempt to get your case dismissed in court.
Paying a civil demand could be a big mistake without first consulting with
a theft crimes attorney in Lynnwood. At the
Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear, I have the experience you need when it comes to handling this type of a case.
Compromise of Misdemeanor - Getting Your Case Dismissed
Washington's Compromise of Misdemeanor law, RCW 10.22.010, states in
part as follows:
"… if the party injured appear in the court in which the cause
is pending at any time before the final judgment therein, and acknowledge,
in writing, that he has received satisfaction for the injury, the court
may, in its discretion, on payment of the costs incurred, order all proceedings
to be discontinued and the defendant to be discharged."
Through careful negotiations with the party presenting a civil demand against
you, I may be able to structure a plan that will satisfy the retail stores
and allow me to secure a release to have your charges dismissed. This
is a fine balancing act that needs to be carefully constructed based on
any evidence against you. If it appears there is not sufficient evidence
against you to obtain a conviction, it may not be wise to pay a civil
demand. On the other hand, if there is strong evidence against you, this
may be the best way to obtain a dismissal of your charges.
Don't let a retail store intimidate you. You may be able to get your
charges dismissed and arrange repayment, allowing you to avoid a criminal
charge on your record which could adversely affect the rest of your life.
Call the Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear
in Lynnwood for legal assistance with a shoplifting crime.