What will happen to a 15 year old arrested for shoplifting alcohol? 38 Answers as of May 09, 2011

My 15 year old son was arrested and charged with petty theft for stealing alcohol. What is going to happen to him?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
Petit larceny is a serious offense. You need to retain defense counsel.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/9/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If it's his first offense, most likely, probation. However, I would still recommend securing a lawyer to represent him. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
He can be charged with a misdemeanor theft in juvenile court. The court will determine the penalty if he is convicted.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 5/6/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
If this is a first offense, the juvenile department may offer some sort of agreement (in Oregon, it is called a formal accountability agreement) wherein, if your son completes a probation like program, most likely dealing with alcohol and drug use, the charge may be dismissed. Otherwise, it is highly likely your son would be placed on probation with the same alcohol and drug treatment.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/6/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
If this was his first offense, they will likely put him on probation and possibly make him participate in a program about alcohol and underage drinking. He should be okay as long as he does what they tell him to do and he doesn't get in any more trouble. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/5/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    He is a juvenile so he will be prosecuted as a juvenile and possible juvenile diversion program. He needs an experienced attorney, visit my website for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    He will likely be charged in Juvenile Court with theft in the 3rd degree and Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Safeway may also demand a "civil penalty" in excess of $600. He should consult an attorney. In the Washington he is automatically appointed a public defender in Juvenile Court. Please note that this is not legal advice and does *not* create an attorney-client relationship. This post represents only the posters opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in the State of Washington. For more information about our law firm and services, please visit our website.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    He will possibly be petitioned to juvenile court, as a delinquent minor. He will be assigned a public defender to represent him, unless you hire your own lawyer to represent him. They will do a social history on the youth, and in all probability, he will be placed on supervision or probation through the juvenile court. There is a possibility that nothing will come out of this, as there may have been a "station adjustment" done, which means you were notified of this offense, and he was released to your custody.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    He will probably be adjudicated as a juvenile as opposed to an adult. Unless he decides to go to trial, the case would stay infront of an attorney referee and your son would be assigned the equivalent of a juvenile probation officer. Juvenile records are kept private and can only be accessed by the courts and law enforcement for legitimate purposes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Since he is 15 years old his charges should be handled at juvenile court. If he has no prior record he should receive a disposition of probation. I am certain that the court will make it a term and condition of his probation that he receive alcohol and drug evaluation and counseling.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Your son will face potential charges for shoplifting as well as underage possession of alcohol (often referred to as MIP or 'minor in possession' in Louisiana). In Louisiana, MIP is merely a ticketable offense and carries penalties of a fine of up to $100; possible driver's license suspension; and in very rare cases, jail time of up to 6 months. Theft of under $300 in Louisiana (assuming that your son's shoplifted goods were worth less than $300) is a slightly more serious offense and carries jail time of up to 6 months and fines of up to $1000. Given your son's status as a minor it seems unlikely that he will be charged with any of the maximum penalties and may well be eligible to have his charges and/or sentences reduced or dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    In this situation I would consider hiring an attorney. We charge $500. If the case is filed as a simple petty theft, your child can enter a guilty plea, take an anti theft class and have the case dismissed. But the case could be filed, as these cases often are, as a burglary. Also, your child is young and could benefit from having an attorney discuss the problems inherent in stealing and using alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    First, if possible, I would suggest hiring an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney to help your son as this will only serve to maximize his chances of obtaining the best possible result and keeping his record clean. As for what may happen to your son, if this is his first offense he may qualify for diversion which, if successfully completed, would keep his record clean. The last thing your son wants is a petty theft conviction on his record as a conviction could have devastating consequences to his future. I hope this answer was helpful. If you would like to discuss your son's case in more detail, I would be happy to do so. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    If he is charged then you should hire an attorney to try to get an ACOD ( adjournment in contemplation of dismissal and try to get Youthful Offender status.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Your case is one which should be handled in the Juvenile Court in the County where you reside. Many times there is a diversion program available for such offenses. You should discuss this and other options with your attorney. Should you wish to hire an attorney, you may contact my office to discuss the possibility of hiring this office to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    He could be charged with theft in the third degree (misdemeanor) and minor in possession of alcohol (also a misdemeanor). If he has no prior record, he may be offered a diversion, which basically means stay out of trouble and the case will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Your son will face a juvenile court hearing and likely have to be evaluated about his alcohol and drug use. Most kids receive probation on a first offense.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    The Boerst Law Office
    The Boerst Law Office | Bruce Boerst
    It always helps to have a good reputation, good grades, good job, etc. Judges consider this for sentencing. The fact that it was alcohol may raise some serious red flags. Since the dollar amount of the stolen property was below $500, it is likely considered a misdemeanor. As a first-offender, the court might have a program for first-offenders that could allow the case to be dismissed if you complete whatever conditions they set. Think of it as "pre-probation." These first offender programs are sometimes called "diversion." You should ask your attorney or public defender about these programs.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    He will likely get juvenile probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Eversole Law, LLC
    Eversole Law, LLC | Steven Eversole
    Just make sure to get an attorney and your son will be fine. He is probably looking at a small fine and some unsupervised probation for a short period. You just want to make sure this does not stay on his record. A good Alabama lawyer should be able to have this charged dismissed one way or the other. Of course, everything I am saying depends on various other factors, such as his previous criminal history. Please review my website at and my Alabama Criminal Defense Blog for more information. You may also call me.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    He will likely be treated as a minor in Family Court and if he's real good for the next year, they'll do very little to him. However, if he's not so good and violates his Probation, then he could have a much bigger problems. It would be a good idea to hire an attorney for him on this one. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would hope that the case will/should remain in juvenile court, but no one can predict the result there or in any court. It is important that you retain a criminal lawyer ASAP! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Juvenile court. Probably probation, drug and alcohol classes, some community service.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    He will have to go to the juvenile court in the county where this offense occurred. I think the judge will be concerned about two things: the stealing and the alcohol. He could face time in the juvenile detention center, probation, court ordered counseling, classes and other requirements. Have you consulted with a criminal defense attorney who handles juvenile cases in that county? You really should. Also, you may want to proactively start some counseling for your son. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Usually a diversion program or informal probation. This involves petty larceny school, community service and perhaps a civil penalty and/or restitution to Safeway.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If he is charged in Juvenile Court and has no prior convictions, they will most likely put him in your custody and on probation. If he has priors, depending on what they are and if he is currently on probation they could send him to Y.A. If that's the case get him the Public Defender as it is serious.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It depends on the state. In Alabama he would be a juvenile and would pay a fine and get probation usually. I would get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The case will be dismissed and he will be given a delayed dismissal called an ACD. As long as he is not arrested in the next six months the case will be dismissed, sealed, and he will not have a record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    You should hire a lawyer to appear in court on his behalf. A good lawyer will evaluate the case to determine whether he should contest the matter in court or resolve the case by way of a negotiated plea agreement with either the DA or the Judge. If he has no prior criminal history, he may only get probation. More information is needed. If you would like a free case evaluation, please contact our office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    The case will likely be handled in family court as a delinquency. What happens depends on prior record, counseling, history and location of court. Most juvenile delinquency are handled by the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A theft offense can be very serious even as a juvenile. 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 or, in the juvenile setting, by an adjudication of delinquency, community service and more. 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 the juvenile has no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Adjudication. A Stay of Adjudication means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain period of time to ensure that she does not have another offense. After successfully completing the probation period, the charge is dismissed. We can assist you in making sure that your record is not affected.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    If he has not been in any trouble before he have to do some community service. There may also be some time where he will remain being monitored by the court to insure that he stays out of trouble.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    Probably supervision,community service, and a drug and alcohol awareness class. But an attorney will make certain that the record will be expunged correctly.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    When charged with a misdemeanor like this, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. No attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, reports, testimony, priors history, etc. However, effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    It depends on the jurisdiction where you reside. In Texas, if he is a first time offender, then he will likely get probation and have to do come community service and take an anti-shoplifting class.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/3/2011
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