My 15 year old received a class C citation for shoplifting in TX, Can we fight it? 1 Answers as of June 10, 2011

Her friends did it, but she did not, is she guilty by association? Is it worth fighting the charge? She wants to plead not guilty, she is only guilty of bad judgement and not knowing what to do.

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Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
A person is not guilty of theft unless they participated in the taking in some manner. One can participate without actively taking an item by serving as the lookout, which is most often how retailers and prosecutors get the extra people in the group who did not actually take items. Even if she knew that her friend had taken an item and she walked out the store with the friend, but she did not help in any way whatsoever, then she is not guilty. If the retailer was a large retailer, then there will be videos - although most of them do not show a lot (and are kind of hard to understand because they are jerky.) If you hire a lawyer, then the lawyer should be able to get the video. Be aware, however, that this would not be the norm for a Class C offense and you can expect to pay more for a lawyer who does more work on a case. Theft is a crime of moral turpitude - an indicator that someone is not trustworthy. It is important that your young daughter not get a final conviction for theft on her record or it may haunt her for the remainder of her life. Even if she is guilty, there are ways to dispose of a case that will help protect her record. An attorney can help with this.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/10/2011
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