Probable cause is a very low standard. All it requires is a minimum showing that there may be evidence of a crime having been committed. The actual proof at trial is another matter. That will require evidence which will prove beyond a reasnable doubt that your son committed the crime for which he is charged.
If your son is charged with a misdemeanor, then you should gather all of the evidence that you have to prove his innocence and demand a jury trial. He needs to aggressively defend himself and not give in to any pressure to settle with some alternative such as community service or deferred judgment or PTI.
If your son is charged with a felony, then he has the ruight to have a probable cause hearing and it must be demanded in writing within ten days of receiving written notice of the right to do so.
A shoplifting conviction, no matter how small, WILL have an adverse effect on him for a very long time.
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