Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Theft / Retail Theft / Khols / Civil Penalty / Fee / Fine / Arrest / PTA / NTA / PTI / Diversion / Shoplifting / AVVO / Michael A. Haber, Esq. **ARRESTED / **305DUI

Q:    Will this go on my record ?   I was caught shoplifting at Kohls and i have paid my fee there was not any police involved . Will i still be charged for shoplifting ?


Michael Adam Haber


Contributor Level 20
Answered If the cops were not summoned to the scene then the overwhelming odds are that it was being treated as an internal matter and you will not hear from law enforcement. It is possible that you will receive a PTA / NTA (promise / notice to appear in court) in the mail, but it is also extremely unlikely. 

If you had asked this question before you paid your "fee" to Khols then I would have told you not to do so. In order for them to get the "fee" (which is "civil penalty") they have to be able to prove (by clear and convincing evidence) that they were injured by your theft. The statute authorizing the civil demand (see F.S. 772.11 - a link appears below ) permits a retailer to seek a minimum of $200 in damages, but to do so they have to first file a civil lawsuit, which will cost them hundreds of dollars just to file, and then many more to prosecute. Their demand letter to you is essentially an offer to settle a potential civil lawsuit for $200.00, a lawsuit which has not yet, and which may never be, filed. Thus, whether or not you pay them is both a personal and a civil, and NOT a criminal defense related, question. 

Please see: FS 772.11 - Civil Theft /http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/772.11 

In regard to the criminal portion of your case, IF you receive a NTA / PTA then don't sweat it. If this is your first offense then it is almost certain that you will be eligible for a diversionary program. 

Diversion is a program which is designed to make you think twice about future criminality by way of making you jump through a series of proverbial hoops during a period of supervision, successful completion of which results in a dismissal. The program is owned and operated by the State Attorney's Office and they have absolute and unequivocal discretion as to whether to admit you, keep you or "graduate" you from their program. 

Knowing that, the question now is whether or not diversion is right for you. There may or may not be viable defenses to the charges, affirmative or otherwise, or there may be factual, legal, procedural or substantive mechanisms by which to attack and beat the charges without going through diversion. 

The best way for you to get competent advise is going to be to have a face-to-face meeting with a criminal defense lawyer who can follow-up on your information with questions of her/his own, as well as review the police reports and citations and then offer an informed opinion. 

Please take a look at my Avvo Legal Guide on diversion in Florida. It contains a great deal of information on the subject and should be helpful to you. For your convenience a link follows: 

Please see: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/pre-trial-intervention--diversion-what-is-it-and-is-it-right-for-me  

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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Established in 1991, Michael A. Haber, P.A. has an unblemished record of providing creative, effective and zealous representation to clients, primarily in South Florida, on a wide variety of criminal matters ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder. 

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

1-888-SHARK-8-1, 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220, **ARRESTED, **305DUI, **MIAMIDUI, **MIAMILAW or **HABERLAW.

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