Inglewood, Shoplifting at Michael's, Case Dismissed

Our client, age 30, with no prior record, was arrested after a loss prevention employee at the Hawthorne Michael’s observed our client placing two kitchen items in her large purse.
Summary:  Inglewood Courthouse, Client Shoplifts from Michael’s, No Prior Record, Case Dismissed After Client Pays $200 Booking Fee.
According to the loss prevention employee, our client then walked around the store looking at other items, but within three minutes proceeded out the front door of Michael’s without paying.

Our client was then stopped and verbally berated for quite some time by the loss prevention officer, who our client described as taking an unusual interest in the case.  The items in question were valued at less than $50.

Our client was then held in a tiny office for almost three hours before loss prevention released her.  Police were never called to the store. 

About a month later, our client, worried about a criminal complaint, contacted our office.  Greg Hill met with the client, who showed Greg the civil recovery demand send to her by a lawyer for Michael’s.  Greg recommended she pay the demand and take a shoplifting prevention course online.  Our client did both.

Our office then contacted the Inglewood District Attorney’s office who advised a complaint indeed had been filed, an arraignment had been conducted and since our client was not there, a bench warrant was issued.

Greg Hill then appeared in the Inglewood Superior Court immediately and had the bench warrant recalled.  The complaint filed against our client charged her with violating Penal Code § 484(a), “petty theft.”  He also showed the Hawthorne City Attorney our client’s payment of the loss prevention fees and mentioned he intended to file a Motion for Civil Compromise (under Penal Code §§ 1377 and 1378) to dismiss the case.

The Hawthorne City Attorney responded that she could not stipulate to a dismissal based on a civil compromise, at least based only upon a showing that our client had written a check.  She said, however, that if our client could show that Michael’s cashed the check, she would not oppose our motion.

Before  the next court appearance, counsel for Michael’s returned the check to our office, refusing to cash it if it was intended to consummate a civil compromise.  However, our client also finished the online shoplifting prevention course and had a certificate of completion to prove it.

Greg then brought the certificate of completion for the online shoplifting prevention course to court and the Hawthorne City Prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case if our client paid the $200 booking fee with the City of Hawthorne.
Our client then did so and at the next court appearance, the City Prosecutor dismissed the case.  Our client was quite happy with this result.

For more information about the issues in this theft offense case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. What is Shoplifting and Its Defenses?
  2. What Can I Do About My Criminal Record on the Internet When The Court Dismissed My Case?
For more information about theft and robbery crimes, please click here to watch our theft offenses video.

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