What Happens If My Child Gets Arrested for Shoplifting?

arrested for shopliftingMotivating our teenagers can be difficult as a parent. Trying to get them to do their homework is harder than pulling teeth. Peer pressure, however, seems to be a great motivation for them but it is not always used for positive endeavors. Teenagers want to impress their peers and sometimes they are willing to do things they wouldn’t normally do to accomplish this.

What Is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is when a person intentionally takes something, typically merchandise, from another person with the intention of depriving that person of the item. Shoplifting that is valued at under $1000 is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless it is some kind of firearm.

If your teenager is arrested for shoplifting, they need to understand that there is nothing good that can come of it. Even if it was due to peer pressure, there is nothing that will come from it that will be positive. It is something that could potentially haunt them for the rest of their lives.

If your teen is caught shoplifting:

  • The store employee will take them into their custody.
    • The employee is going to stop your teenager before they get out of the door. Most likely they will take them behind the counter where they can watch them or to a manager’s office so that they cannot leave.
  • The cops will be notified.
    • The store will call the police to come and make a report of the shoplifting incident and your child will more than likely be arrested for the incident. This means they will ride in a cop car and they will be processed at the jail.
  • Your teenager will be charged with theft.
    • The actual severity and wordage of the charges brought against your teenager will depend on the dollar value of the items stolen.
  • The case will be forwarded to juvenile authorities.
    • Your teenager will have their case transferred to the correct authorities at this time. If they are not old enough to be tried as an adult and they are not emancipated, then they will be transferred to juvenile services.
  • The police will release the teenager to only the parents.
    • The only way your teenager is getting out of the juvenile center is if the parents come and get them. They cannot be released on their own recognizance.
  • No more shopping time.
    • After a shoplifting incident, the store will no longer let your teenager shop there. They will be permanently banned from the store.
  • The parents will have to pay.
    • The parents will be held financially liable as well in shoplifting circumstances. This also goes for the court fees and any other monetary repayment the court deems as necessary.

The teenager who shoplifted will have their fingerprints on file in AFIS for the rest of their lives.

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Shoplifting Penalties in Arizona

Shoplifting will change your teenager’s life. They may not think that a lipstick that was worth $1.75 will be anything that is missed, but they are sadly mistaken.

A class 1 misdemeanor for theft in the state of Arizona could result in your teenager spending some time in a juvenile detention center. For first offenses, hopefully, that is not the case, but there will be fines. Plenty of fines.

Parents will be responsible for:

  • Paying back the amount for the item that was shoplifted by the teenager.
  • If the item is valued at under $1000, the fines for the incident could be up to $2500.
  • The civil repayment is the price of the item plus $100 to the store where it was stolen from.
  • These fines and judgments could easily result in thousands of dollars. That $1.75 lipstick could turn into $2701.75 for the parents.

Shoplifting is not a joke. If your teenager has been accused of shoplifting, make sure that you are hiring an attorney in Arizona who can help with this case. This is not something that you or your teenager should have to face alone.