If I stop making payments to a retailer regarding a theft fine, willI go to jail?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

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If I stop making payments to a retailer regarding a theft fine, willI go to jail?

I was with my 14 year-old sister who stole something from a store; I’m 22 years-old. Even though I didn’t steal anything, since I was with her they called me into the room as well. The total amount was under $25. I believe it was $23. No police were called. The store’s lawyer sent me a fine in the mail for $550. I already paid $150. I want to know if I stop paying them can I be charged? Will this go on my record?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do not pay them another cent.  he store has no right to fine you for anything.  They are not a legal entity authorized to make a determination as to the disposition of your sister's case.  Take the paperwork you received to an attorney  - go to legal aid if you can not afford one - and ask them to review the case with you and let you know what your rights are.  It is doubtful that the store wil file any complaint against you and that you will have any record at all on the matter, especially since YOU DID NOT STEAL ANYTHING.  Talk to your little sister.  Maybe she should pay you her allowance for the next 20 years or so.  Good luck.

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