If you have been charged with “larceny prohibited” in Missouri, commonly referred to as theft or shoplifting, you may have also received a demand from the business in which you allegedly stole from or the business’ attorney demanding that you pay $250.00 in satisfaction of the civil claim. If so, you may be asking yourself: “Can a business demand that I pay $250.00 even when they repossessed the stolen merchandise?” The answer to this question is yes.
In Missouri, 570.087 RSMo provides businesses with a viable lawsuit against any person who has attempted to take possession of merchandise without the consent of the owner. Even when the business catches a person allegedly stealing and retrieves all the merchandise and suffers no loss, it can still demand payment of up to $250.00. Typically, before the business initiates a lawsuit, it will send the defendant a demand notice to pay $250.00 within a certain time period. Furthermore, if the individual attempting to steal merchandise is a minor, the business may demand payment or file a lawsuit against the minor’s guardian.
When you hire the St. Louis shoplifting lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., we handle both the criminal case and assist you with the potential civil lawsuit the business may have against you. Frequently, our St. Louis criminal defense lawyers can resolve the potential civil claim without our client having to pay the business any money. In other cases, we may be able to resolve the business’ demand of payment by settling with them for a much smaller figure than $250.00. If you are charged with larceny prohibited or misdemeanor theft in Missouri, it is vital that you contact an experienced St. Louis criminal defense lawyer to aggressively defend you against the criminal charge and also mitigate any potential civil liability. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and to learn how the law applies to your specific situation.