You’re already on edge after you were charged with shoplifting. Now you have received a letter or a phone call from a collection agent or a law firm asking you to pay money for the merchandise that you took.

Will paying the money demanded in the letter make your criminal case go away? Generally, the answer is no. In most cases, even if you pay, you have still committed a crime, and the retailer will still press charges.

If you have been charged with retail theft, do not talk about your case with third parties, especially not the police, the store or the firm demanding the civil damages. By attempting to explain your situation, you could be inadvertently admitting guilt.

If you are charged or think you may be charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to determine the best possible defense. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney, who is respected at the court house, may negotiate a better plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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