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What is the punishment for a first time offense of shoplifting? *Movie-hopping*

Kerrville, TX |

My son is sixteen, and him and a few friends went to the theaters, and decided to go movie-hopping. They went to three movies, but only paid for one. The tickets are worth $6.50 each per movie so their being accused of stealing $13. He has never been in trouble with the law before and has good grades, but will it matter?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Since this is his first offense, he would most likely be offered a deferred contract which states that he promises to complete a certain number of classes, community service and have no further contact with the move theatre for 6 months (maybe a letter of apology to the store manager) and if he successfully fulfills the terms, then his case will get dismissed. You should consult with a Juvenile Defense Attorney in your area.

This answer is for advice only. No attorney-client relationship has been established.


He is a juvenile. Having never before been in trouble, he will likely be offered a deferred which is like being on probation. He reports for 6 months and does a few other conditions and then the case is over and no one can access juvenile records except law enforcement (and he can seal his record when he is 18 if he gets in no additional trouble.) OR, they might just make him write a letter of apology and scare the heck out of him and let the case go.

Cynthia Henley


His worst-case scenario is likely a short deferred probation with requirements like an anti-theft class and community service hours. Deferred is the kind of probation that does not result in a conviction. I would hire an attorney in your area that regularly handles juvenile cases. He will be able to get you the best result.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

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