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What are the consequences of a minor shoplifting?

Arcadia, CA |

Well a couple days ago my friend went to the mall and being the typical teenager he is he ended up shoplifting 2 buttons worth $3.98 in total , long story short they caught him, & all the security did was just getting his name ,last name, number, d.o.b. , and address, the security just escorted him out the mall, they never told him anything tht was going to happen to him , all they told him was that he was banned from the mall today they did.t call the cops. Just the security , this happened in California , & he was 16yrs old at the time, I would like to know what would happen to him now & the consequences that he might get , & if this will affect his future

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

a minor shoplifting case can have MAJOR consequences IF a conviction goes on his record. Most likely he will get a citation in the mail with a court date. Even though it is likely a misdemeanor, is still is theft. Just because the police were NOT called, at the time of the incident, he can Still expect to be charged...Theft is a crime of dishonesty, which can keep a person from being employed. So he should consult with a local atty. and if you can't afford one, get a public defender appointed once you go to Court....all with the aim of trying to keep it off your record.

www.KellerLawOffices.com

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

How much do you think the citation will be? And what is a misdemeanor? What other consequences. Might the judge give to him

Max Allen Keller

Max Allen Keller

Posted

"how much do you think the citation will be?" You mean the fine? Probably between $100 and $500, but that is not the issue, preventing a conviction is the issue. If he is a minor then it would be handled in juvenile court like another poster said, but some Juvenile adjudications are still public in some states.

Posted

I do not practice in CA, but the case should be prosecuted in Juvenile Court since he is a minor. I can't tell from your post, but since he wasn't arrested nor cited by the police, he may receive a notice or criminal summons to appear at juvenile court. He may also receive a letter from the store seeking claimed money damages for the theft. The notice, if he receives one, from the juvenile court should not be ignored and you should retain counsel to represent him at any juvenile court proceeding. Shoplifting is a minor criminal offense, and if he has no juvenile court prior record should be handled informally by defense counsel and the prosecutor without a criminal conviction. Get competent legal counsel to assist you.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

What if there were no damages done to the items, & he gave it back the moment he got caught?

Asker

Posted

What if there were no damages done to the items, & he gave it back the moment he got caught?

Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III

Posted

The crime is the unlawful taking with intent to keep the item. No damage and it's return has no affect on the commission of the criminal act, only mitigators after the fact.

Asker

Posted

what is a mitigators? And how long will it be for them to contact him? He got caught yesterday

Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III

Posted

Here is the governing statute in KY: =================================================== § 514.030. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition - Penalties. Kentucky Revised Statutes Title 50. KENTUCKY PENAL CODE Chapter 514. THEFT AND RELATED OFFENSES Current through 2011 Legislative Session § 514.030. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition - Penalties (1) Except as otherwise provided in KRS 217.181 or 218A.1418, a person is guilty of theft by unlawful taking or disposition when he unlawfully: (a) Takes or exercises control over movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof; or (b) Obtains immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto. (2) Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more, in which case it is a Class D felony; or unless: (a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; or (c) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony. History. Effective: June 25, 2009 Amended 2009, Ky. Acts ch. 106, sec. 6, effective June 25, 2009. -- Amended 2000, Ky. Acts ch. 233, sec. 8, effective July 14, 2000. -- Amended 1998, Ky. Acts ch. 301, sec. 9, effective July 15, 1998. -- Amended 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 314, sec. 2, effective July 15, 1994. - Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 451, sec. 1, effective July 14, 1992. -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 119, effective January 1, 1975. ======================================================

Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III

Posted

You need to hire a criminal defense attorney in your area to assist you. I don't practice in CA. In my state, if prosecuted, the defendant will receive a letter from a juvenile court worker in several weeks after the alleged crime. Mitigators are helpful facts that a defense attorney uses in negotiations and/or at a sentencing hearing. Good luck.

Posted

If the police weren't contacted at the time it's unlikely based on what you describe that a criminal prosecution would be pursued. They took his information because they will probably lass it on to an attorney or collection agency who will send him or his parents a letter demanding that they pay money. I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, (in some jurisdictions prove damages which they most likely couldn't do), and win. Even if they could win, the cost of pursuing this is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly recover so they usually don't. They send out these letters because it doesn't cost much and they are hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it. 

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

So if he were to receive the letter, he can just choose not to ignore it? Also, if he does.ignore it will the people that send it keep bothering him about the money?

Asker

Posted

So if he were to receive the letter, he can just choose not to ignore it? Also, if he does.ignore it will the people that send it keep bothering him about the money?

Posted

A minor charge like this one can have very serious consequences. The matter could result in charges being brought against the minor by the juvenile court. The store also will likely fill a demand for money from the minor's parents or guardian. The charge is Penal Code 484, and is punishable by up to 6 months detention. Due to the amount, age, and lack of record any detention is highly unlikely. However, a theft charge is serious enough that I suggest you talk to an attorney. I have handled numerous PC 484 charges from as a prosecutor in juvenile court, and as a defense attorney.
Law Offices of Craig Renetzky
818-888-5000

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