Parents in Texas know that kids have a way of getting into trouble. Many children will go through a mischievous stage as they mature. Sometimes, that includes brushes with the law. One of the most common crimes minors commit is shoplifting.
Shoplifting by teens is common
Statistics show that almost a quarter of shoplifters are teens aged 13 to 17. It can be embarrassing when your child is caught stealing, but it’s hardly unique. Young people who are convicted of stealing may face some serious consequences. For example, it might be hard for them to get summer jobs.
What to do if your child is caught
Parents should be aware of the steps to take if their child is accused of this type of crime. The first thing to do is to find a lawyer who understands juvenile law. Typically, shoplifting teens are not sent to adult criminal court. An attorney lawyer may be able to help a young person secure an appropriate deal.
Most of the time, first-time offenders for shoplifting are treated with leniency by the court. A minor may get nothing more than a stern talking-to from a judge before being released to the custody of his or her parents. When the court imposes a penalty, it’s generally restitution.
When a juvenile steals a significant amount of merchandise, the court may impose a sentence of probation. This means the minor will be monitored by the court for a specified time. Conditions of probation may include maintaining a good grade point average or performing community service.
Shoplifting is common among kids. It’s not the end of the world. However, parents need to help their kids understand that stealing is wrong. Adult penalties for theft are much more serious.