I accidentally walked out of a gas station while traveling without paying for a coffee. Should I worry about being charged in the future?

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I accidentally walked out of a gas station while traveling without paying for a coffee. Should I worry about being charged in the future?

I was traveling and ran into a gas station to purchase a coffee, it was extremely
busy in there and I received a phone call and got distracted and think I walked
out without paying. I couldn’t locate a receipt and there was no charge on my
credit card. Should I be concerned that the police will show up at my house in a
month with a warrant? It was out of town so I can’t easily stop back by and pay.

Asked on October 10, 2016 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is *highly* unlikely that police will pursue an out-of-state person for the "theft" of a cup of coffee--and it's even very unlikely that the gas station will contact them in the first place over a cup of coffee. Yes, technically if they believed you did this on purpose, that would be a crime--but on a cost-benefit basis, no one is going to puruse you across state lines for something costing between $1.00 and $4.00.


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