Shoplifting is identified as the purposeful taking of an item from a store with no intention of paying. Since juvenile shoplifting involves a minor, many people perceive this crime as a simple misdemeanor with minimal consequences. As such, many suspects plead guilty to theft thinking that they will walk away with a mere warning. This cannot be further from the truth; the conviction of such a crime can lead to different consequences as explained below.
Counseling and Release to Parents
For first-time offenders, the court might choose to release them to their parents or guardian. However, the judge will give the juvenile a stern warning regarding the crime in question and its consequences. The court might also recommend counseling from an appropriate individual or family counselor.
In some cases, the court might order the juvenile to pay restitution for the value of the shoplifted item. If the minor has a job, the judge might direct them to keep working until the payment is complete. Similarly, if the juvenile is not employed but has attained the legal age of being in employment, the judge might order them to find work to pay off the restitution.
Probation and Diversion
Depending on the circumstances of the case, a court might order a six-month probation period for a juvenile shoplifter. However, engaging the services of a criminal law firm like The Law Office Of Troy P. Owens, Jr can significantly reduce this period. The terms of the probation can include taking specific actions such as staying in school and obeying orders from parents, guardians, or school officials. The minor might also be required to report to a probation officer. If the offender doesn’t comply, the court can order a significant penalty, such as placement or confinement. Diversion is similar to probation but less formal, and it’s usually reserved for first-time offenders.
Confinement or Placement
If the minor is a repeat offender, the judge might order the juvenile to be placed in a detention facility or a program similar to a boot camp. Also, if the court finds that the home of the offender is contributing to the minor’s delinquency, it might have the juvenile placed in a foster home or a state facility that caters to neglected children.
Juvenile shoplifting is a serious crime that can have a severe impact on the life of the offender. The consequences of such a crime range from counseling, restitution, probation to even placement and confinement. Therefore, whether it’s a first or repeated offense, the offender should hire an attorney to fight for minimal consequences.