Will shoplifting from Walmart as a minor go on my daughter's record or mine
1 attorney answer
Don't confuse the letters from Walmart - seeking civil money damages and penalties from actual criminal charges.
Idaho law allows retailers the legal tool to seek civil fines as penalties to whoever they believe has shoplifted. This is not the same as law enforcement and prosecutor's filing criminal theft charges.
The civil demand letters are only monetary penalties/damages, and will not be on your record, nor your daughter's. You could even refuse to pay the civil fines demanded by the retailer. The only risk is a civil lawsuit and judgement in favor of the store. The judge may allow garnishment of wages or other court orders to pay the civil fines and legal costs associated to file for the judgement.
Still, these CIVIL judgements/penalties are NOT criminal charges. Your child does not have a right to an attorney for civil matters. You and her must hire a lawyer if it comes to a filed civil suit by Walmart. In my experience, Walmart RARELY pursues these civil lawsuits for minor shoplifting incidents. It is far too costly for the retailer to hire expensive lawyers to pursue such trivial monetary amounts.
If your child is CRIMINALLY cited with a misdemeanor or felony (if the theft is over $1000) you may be responsible for restitution as the parent. The criminal charge will NOT be on your record- but on the juvenile record of your child. Criminal convictions of minors do not affect the parent's criminal record, but restitution may be attached to the parent. Also, juvenile charges can be expunged in Idaho if she qualifies.
Finally, if she is charged criminally, she will be given actual NOTICE of the charges with a proper court date. There she will have the right to legal counsel - appointed by the court- because minors are not expected to be able to afford their own defense attorneys.
Hope this helps. Find a criminal defense lawyer for juveniles in your area if you have any further questions.