What should I do if my child is being accused of stealing? 40 Answers as of July 12, 2013

My children is being accused of stealing a missing jewelry at a house they cleaned. What should we do?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Short of finding the jewelry, you should instruct your children to speak to no one about the case without a lawyer. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/7/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your inquiry If your child is under 16 then there may be a Juvenile Case filed against them, with charges that could resemble Larceny in a Building. If 16 or older, then the charge could be the 4-year felony Larceny in a Building. You may be notified of a date and time to appear at the Police Station to be booked. From there, a Preliminary Examination can be scheduled. The best advice at this time is to hire an attorney to review the facts of the case. Prior to that, there should be no interview with the police or any voluntary statements. These can be used against a defendant at the time of trial. With an attorney on the case, an informed choice can be made as to whether an interview or statement is in the best interest of the client. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
Your summary states that your child was accused of stealing jewelry at a house that you were cleaning. That sounds like you and your child were both cleaning the house and you were not bonded or insured. You should retain a criminal attorney if you can afford the fee which will likely be around $2,000. If you are indigent you will have a public defender. Unless your child admitted the crime they will likely have no proof and the charges will be dismissed. If they take it to trial the DA will not be able to prove that the jewelry was stolen or who stole it unless the police get a statement or confession or unless someone s caught with the jewelry.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
You should consult with an attorney who is experienced in juvenile court.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/6/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
You should immediately contact a lawyer to help your child. The only way you will know what is possible and how to get your child out of this situation is to sit down and have a detailed discussion of everything involved. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Mark A. Chmelewski, PS
    Law Office of Mark A. Chmelewski, PS | Mark A. Chmelewski
    You need to retain an attorney to represent your son. If law enforcement contacts him, advise him not to make any statements to them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Tray Payne & Associates, PLLC
    Tray Payne & Associates, PLLC | Tray Payne
    I would suggest being careful who your child speaks with regarding this incident. Is your child a minor? Adult? I would be extremely careful with this situation and contact an attorney immediately should the police request an interview with your child.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Dont make any statements to law enforcement about this without an attorney present. You should probable consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You should concern yourself with this matter if the police come in contact with you or the child, about this theft. If the kid is 16 yrs old or younger, he will be treated as a juvenile, and you have a right to be with him when being questioned by the police. In any case, I would advise you to contact an attorney to represent him when being questioned. Thoroughly discuss the case with the lawyer, who will know how to proceed if the police summon him for questioning. Understand this: if the victim did not see your child take the item, it is very difficult to prove he took the item.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    Get a criminal defense lawyer. Do not let them speak to the police.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    If the child gets charged you should hire an attorney to negotiate to try to get an ACOD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal) which means the case is adjourned for 6 months and if the child does not get into further trouble the case will be automatically dismissed. If the prosecutor will not offer an ACOD then if the child pleads guilty to anything or if go to trial and gets convicted , he should be able to get Youthful Offender treatment ( if 19 or under ) which means the conviction is vacated and the records sealed. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    This will depend upon whether or not a police report has been filed and/or whether or not charges are being pressed against your child. If you believe that criminal charges are being filed then you should consider hiring an attorney to defend your child. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You should take your children and have them talk with an attorney and follow his advise.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The answer depends on a number of details such as the age of your child. Generally it is pretty good advice not to volunteer information to the authorities without first talking to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    There's not much you can do except hire a lawyer to represent the child or try to settle the matter in some fashion through the lawyer. If you try to pay for the jewelry or give it back, it only becomes an admission that it was taken by the child.At least consult with a lawyer right away. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You must get a lawyer to defend him/her. A theft charge will effect employment for a long time. Call a lawyer and don't allow her/him to talk with the police.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You do not explain who is doing the accusing the police, the victim of the theft or whether he or she is even charged with an offense. It never hurt to consult a criminal law specialist to advise you depending on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    Hire an attorney immediately. If your daughter is convicted of a theft offense, she will never be able to find work. It is a job killer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    This can turn into a serious matter. Contacting an attorney for advise would be a prudent thing to do. If they are asked to talk to the police, remember that the police are trying to make a case and these interviews often go badly for the accused. They have a right to legal counsel before the interview and have the right to remain silent. An attorney will be able to further advise.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would urge you to hire a good criminal lawyer in your area as soon as possible to represent your child in the theft by taking case. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    There is nothing to do, unless and until your child is arrested for theft. If an arrest never occurs then you have worried for no reason. If an arrest does occur, be prepared to retain an attorney. See my website.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    You should hire counsel to defend her.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    An accusation is not a criminal charge. If the matter is being investigated, you should prepare your child to politely decline to make any statement to police or others and consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A theft offense can be very serious. While any theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Such an offense is still punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be extremely significant and preclude a person from finding employment where background checks are performed. Often, if you have no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Prosecution. A Stay of Prosecution means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain periofd of time to ensure that you do not have another offense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Contact a lawyer immediately, and make sure your children do not speak with anyone, including the police, in the absence of the lawyer. The lawyer will then advise you on the next step, which may include speaking to the police, and providing evidence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Have criminal charges been filed? What action has been taken to this point against your child? Contact me at 818-336-1384 to discuss further. Once I know more about the current situation, I will be in a better position to advise you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    The answer to this depends on the age of your child and the value of the item/s alleged to have been stolen. If your child is charged in the juvenile court and does not have any criminal history and he is not charged with a felony it is likely he will be offered a diversion and will not have to face formal charges. If a diversion is not applicable, but he is still charged in juvenile court a public defender will be appointed regardless of your income. If he is charged in adult court a public defender will be appointed only if certain income requirements are met. You can always hire a lawyer of your own choosing as well. A lawyer will be able to explain the charges, present a defense, and negotiate with the prosecutor. Most criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations. Please feel free to call my office for information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Hire a lawyer and tell your child to remain silent to anyone except the lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Sit tight. If the police contact you I would hire an attorney to help you through the whole process. Call around to local attorneys and do some consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If the police or anyone tries to talk with them get an attorney and refuse to have the child talk without one present. You can always sit down with an attorney a discuss the situation with him or her. Often the initial consultation is free.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    First of all, you need to determine what went on. Make sure your child is being honest with you. Find out why they accused him of stealing and why they think he did it. If your child did steal something, you need to give it back or if not pay the value of the items stolen. Maybe then they won't insist on pressing charges. If your child didn't do it, find out if he knows who did. If the police get involved, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Say nothing to anyone and get your own private attorney hired. Don't make any mistakes here!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Consult with a lawyer to specifically look into the details of the matter and resolve it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If your child is summoned to juvenile court, appear and request to apply for a public defender or court appointed attorney. You can also seek your own private attorney if you simply want to provide additional information and receive individualized counsel. If your child is only being accused at this point and did not steal anything, you do not have the duty to do anything. If you are contacted by law authorities, remember that you and your child have the right to not answer any questions at all, have the right to be represented by an attorney while being questioned, and that anything said can be used against your child in court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    The Law Office of Jason Knight
    The Law Office of Jason Knight | Jason Knight
    You should consult with an attorney in your area who practices in criminal law and juvenile law. Assuming your child has already been charged by the police, the attorney will be able to guide you and your family through the court process. Once that attorney has all the facts, he or she should be able to spot an opportunity to resolve the case without any permanent damage to your child or his reputation.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm | Grant Van Der Jagt
    Criminal accusations are serious. You should schedule a consultation with a criminal attorney and discuss strategies.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    If you or your child are accused of a crime, you should hire an attorney immediately. Do this before you or your child are interrogated before the police. Having an attorney now may help you investigate while the police are investigating instead of relying on the government's investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/3/2011
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