What happens if I am caught shoplifting under the age of 18?




    Young individuals may think stealing merchandise from a store will impress their friends and make them look daring, however, shoplifting is a criminal offense. Despite an individual’s age, anyone who shoplifts will face serious penalties and consequences for their actions. However, if an individual under the age of 18 is caught shoplifting, they risk having a criminal record. A criminal record can negatively affect an individual’s future. If you have been charged with juvenile shoplifting, contact an experienced Garden City, NY Juveniles Crimes Lawyer who can help keep your record sealed or have it expunged. Our firm is dedicated to defending our client’s interests and protecting their future. 

    What are the potential consequences of juvenile shoplifting?

    There are several punishments that individuals may face for juvenile shoplifting. However, it is up to the court to decide what consequences are appropriate and suitable for the juvenile’s criminal actions. Possible consequences may include:

    Restitution and fines

    One of the more common penalties juveniles are faced with is paying restitution to the store owner they stole from. Depending on the monetary value of the stolen merchandise, individuals will have to pay back the same price as the stolen goods or in some cases a higher amount. Another penalty courts may deem reasonable is to have the juvenile pay hefty court fines for their criminal actions.

    Community service

    Additionally, a judge may find community service is a suitable punishment for juvenile shoplifting. Community service requires a person to complete a certain amount of hours participating in a program that helps others. Community service may include serving food at a homeless shelter, helping senior citizens, or picking up trash on the side of the road.

    Loss of driving privileges

    Furthermore, individuals may lose their driving privileges for shoplifting as courts may find it appropriate to suspend an individual’s standard driver’s license. In certain cases juveniles do not have their licenses yet, however, they can still suspend an individual’s ability to acquire a standard driver’s license in the future.

    Counseling and diversion programs 

    Another penalty juveniles may face is having to attend court-ordered counseling sessions. This may be individual sessions or group sessions. It may also seem reasonable to have a juvenile complete a diversion program. Diversion programs are similar to probation. Individuals must adhere to the conditions of the program which may entail keeping certain grades and completing an education program.

    Juvenile detention 

    Typically, juvenile detention is only a penalty for individuals who have committed several shoplifting offenses. Individuals are placed in youth detention centers for some time. This is one of the more severe consequences juveniles may face for shoplifting.

    If you are under the age of 18 and have been convicted of shoplifting, reach out to one of our skilled and determined lawyers. Our team can help protect your future by getting your record expunged.


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