VIC Left Australia After Being Arrested for Shoplifting - What Happens Next?

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10 December 2015
Hi, I would highly appreciate it if you could shed some lights on my queries.

- I'm a Permanent Residency (Permanent Visa) holder. A graduate. No past criminal record whatsoever.

- Crime committed: Shoplifting. (Shop1: 2 trimmers + 2 towel from 1 shop + Shop 2: 1 Shaver + Shop3: Big Bag)

- I got caught from the 3rd shop and they found all items I shoplifted.

- I was police arrested. I pleaded guilty. Police told me they will serve me a summons in few weeks.

- I left Australia 3 weeks after this incident, as my mom was unwell.

- I didn’t receive the summons when I left as it was not ready at that time.

- I called up the police officer who arrested me and informed him that I had left the country. After leaving the country, I asked to them to mail the summon to my home country address if it's possible. He told me it's not possible and that I will get arrested when I come back

- I don't know the section of what legislation I am charged with, but I think you may be able to presume with the details I provided


-I am thinking of coming back to Australia. What will happen if I come back?

- What’s the process if someone leave the country without receiving a summons. Will there be any lookout notice sent to the airport and will I get arrested from the airport itself?

- What will be the punishment? As it’s a first-time offence, will I be asked to pay fine only or fine + some community service? Will the judge record my conviction? Then will it impact my job hunt? When companies do a police check, will it come up? Will I have to serve any jail term? Or will they Deport me? As I am a PR holder, I just stayed less than 1 year in Australia.


- Shopaholic: made lots of shopping and paid honestly always. Have receipts for most of them and bank records.

- What happened on that cursed day: Just went to the mall to purchase a trimmer. Then left accidently without paying (I had intended to pay). Then realised, oh, I didn’t pay, but no one asked too. Then went to another shop and purchase. This time, I didn’t pay.

- What could be the reason for my dishonest act? I was in search for a job for past 9 months. I didn’t get a suitable job. I was depressed. I was taking SSRI pills for it. Also ADHD pills for focus issue for many years.

I had a decent job before migrating to Australia and didn’t have any financial issues in the past. It’s the first time I was going through without having a job and was extremely stressed. When I am depressed, shopping makes me bit feel happy I think. But as I was running short of money, it might have lead to this. But it's a mistake for sure. And I have been mentally suffering since it happened.


Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
There will be a warrant out for your arrest.

It will be flagged with Dept Of Immigration & Border Control.

You will be arrested on the warrant when you enter the country.

You may get bail or go straight to court.

1st time offence, maybe a GBB or fine.

N Knight

Well-Known Member
27 December 2015


10 December 2015
Thank you for your responses.

I had left the country before the summons was issued (Officer had told me it could take many months to prepare the summons).
1) So, will they issue an arrest warrant for minor cases like shoplifting?
2) Even if they issue an arrest warrant, will they actually link it with border control to arrest the person? (I read in some blog that arrest warrants will link to border control for major issues only)
3) Are there any options to know if a) the arrest warrant is issued. b) it's been linked with the border control and I will get arrested when I land there.
4) Are there any options for a lawyer to represent me in this case and appear in the court, without my presence in the country?
5) As its a first time offence, but the shoplifting was done in 2 shops in 1 hour's time for around 1000$, what's the probability of jail term. or will it be just a fine and some community service? How much is the fine amount approx?

Thanks a lot in advance