California Penal Code 490.5 PC

PC 490.5 – Civil Demand Letters

Civil Demand Letters – Table of Contents

What is Civil Demand Letter?

If you’ve recently been arrested for shoplifting then you will likely receive Civil Demand Letters from an attorney demanding that you repay the retail store from where you stole. Sections (b) and (c) of CA civil demand letters Penal Code 490.5 state that it is your responsibility to pay the store for damages and loss property valued from $50 to $500. You will also be responsible to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses that the retail store acquired because of your action, namely their attorney costs. If you are a minor then that responsibility falls onto your parents.

The letter will also claim that if you do not reimburse the retail store then further legal action will take place, namely a civil law suit, where you will be required to pay for this as well (a filing fee for small claims court, $30).

These letters will be intimidating and appear to be time sensitive. But how concerned should you be if you receive one of these letters and how much legal power do they carry?

Well the answer varies from case to case, for some cases little legal action can take place, while others require legal action and consultation with a criminal defense attorney. With that being said, if you receive one of these letters I would advise you to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney before casually discarding it.

We Want to Help

If you have any questions about Civil Demand Letters Penal Code 490.5, we invite you to contact our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office, or by phone.

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Civil Demand Letters

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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