Torrance, Shoplifting at Kohl's, Civil Compromise Dismissal
The client called us a few days after the incident when the Torrance Police contacted her, leaving several voice mails on her phone. She did not know what to do, so she called Greg Hill & Associates.
Greg Hill met with the client and listened to the facts of what happened. Our client owned her own business and had no prior record. She was extremely worried about what a conviction for theft would mean for her business license and if her customers could see such a conviction on the Internet.Why This Summary Matters: A motion for civil compromise under Penal Code §§ 1377 and 1378 is often helpful to resolve a shoplifting case with a small store, but “big box” retailers rarely agree to this resolution because the case against the shoplifter is dismissed. However, in this Torrance case involving Kohl’s, we did effect a dismissal through a civil compromise.
In terms of responding to the police, Greg told her to return the phone call to the police, but respectfully decline to answer any questions about the incident, saying that she if following the advice of counsel to assert her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Instead, she should give the police our phone number to call for more information.
After the alleged shoplifting, Kohl’s sent her a letter asking her to repay the store’s loss prevention expenses. The expenses totaled $325. Many lawyers advise against paying such a demand because, truly, it is more expensive for Kohl’s to file a small claims action to recover such expenses. Such lawyers advise their clients to ignore such demands.
Our client followed our advice and paid such fees. Our office then filed a Motion for Civil Compromise.
By having the motion granted, our client saved over $3,000 and avoided performing fifteen days of Cal-Trans. She was very happy.
It should be noted that in Torrance, this strategy is often not so successful. The client was lucky in this case. Greg had five or six such cases dismissed and then the judges changed their general policy on this. Now, such a strategy generally does not work, however, payment of the civil demand may allow negotiation of a much better plea bargain, perhaps even to an infraction for trespass, which can be especially significant if one is trying to avoid or minimize probation or lower the fines.
For more information about the issues in this theft offense case summary, click on the following articles:
For more information about theft and robbery crimes, please click here to watch our theft offenses video.