What's the law with stealing with a minor and what might happen to me? 7 Answers as of May 10, 2013

I was recently caught shoplifting with a minor, I'm 19 and he's 13. I didn't intend to steal anything, I went in to get some new shorts but saw clothes I liked and went to there, al the sudden the 13 year old I was with started taking stuff and we both placed the $279 worth of stuff in my backpack and walked out. When we walked out we got stopped by kohl’s security and taken to a room where they kept us for 5 hours. They then started telling the 13 year old to tell the cop that I touched him so I can get in even more trouble. They also said that they have seen me before in a white car, in which I don't even drive a white car nor have I ever arrived in one. When the cop arrived he pulled me aside and started asking if I've ever had any type of sex with, I never have. The cop gave me my court date and let me go a couple days later I got a civil letter from kohl’s asking for $225. I know this is a lot I just wanted to explain everything that happened. I just wanted to know what's the law with stealing with a minor and what might happen to me? I'm a full time student and have a minimum wage job.

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You need to get a lawyer, whether appointed or retained. Fight this matter and see if they will offer something where you end up with no criminal record. A criminal record is forever. What employer wants to hire a thief?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/10/2013
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and if convicted, you can kiss your university and career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you forget you have the right to remain silent and start incriminating yourself with your mouth.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2013
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You should expect to spend some time in jail.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/7/2013
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
You have a lot going against you and I will try to explain what you are looking at. Depending on the amount allegedly stolen and the jurisdiction where the event occurred, shoplifting can be met with a mere citation (infraction), or charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony, with possible jail sentences of 6 months to 3 years. It will be up to the D.A. to determine how the crime will be charged. Since you had a minor with you at the time, you can also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. You never stated what the relationship was between you and the 13 year old. With regards to the civil letter from Kohls, as a rule, I advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. Unless you signed some agreement to pay this store, you owe them nothing. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you and win. However, It would cost them much more to sue you than they can ever hope to recover so they usually don't pursue it. With that in mind, I would advise that they can still take legal action against you by filing suit in small claims court. If you ignore these actions, a default judgment will be entered against you. So, although you can ignore the civil demand letter, do not ignore anything that comes from a court. I suggest that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you and get you the best deal possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/7/2013
William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
You might face charges including theft, conspiracy, and contributing to the condition of a minor. Ultimately, sentencing depends on whether you're found guilty, your record, how serious these are in the court's eyes, mitigation, and allocution.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/3/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You're clearly going to be charged with retail fraud or shoplifting, it, if you're convicted and do not enter into some form of diversionary program, will go down on your record and cause you future problems until it can be expunged. You could also potentially be charged with contributing to delinquency of a minor. Apparently there is also some suspicion that you may have been involved in some form of sexual activity with a 13-year-old, which would be chargeable as statutory rape. You need to engage in attorney and try to minimize the damages which you're going to suffer because of this occurrence.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/3/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    You may qualify for first offender treatment. If you meet the conditions, you can avoid a record.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/3/2013
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