/ 11.9.22

What to Do If Your Child Was Caught Shoplifting

Written by: Doug Ridley

It Is Important to Protect Your Child’s Rights and Their Future After Shoplifting Allegations

Getting a call from the school or from the police that your child is in trouble is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. Sometimes kids just “getting in trouble” have serious and long lasting consequences for your child. When we work with families in this area, we find that the child is very focused on the immediate consequences. The parents are concerned about long term consequences for the future. Both concerns are valid, and need to be addressed and explained to the families. It is critical that you get early and immediate legal advice from an attorney who understands the juvenile criminal justice system. 

The juvenile system is drastically different from adult court. The procedures in court are different. There are several ways to mitigate how the case is handled even before going to court. It is possible to speak with the police, or the prosecutor, or even the probation department and stop the damage before it even starts.

At Ridley Defense, we know how one misstep can affect a young person’s entire life. Our lawyers believe in helping people get back on track while ensuring that their rights are not violated. If your child was caught shoplifting in Southern California, contact our office for a complimentary consultation. 

What to Do First If Your Child Is Accused of Shoplifting

While the legal process will look different depending on whether your child was over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offense, the first steps will be the same. No matter how old your child is, the first call you should make is to a qualified criminal defense attorney. If your child was under 18 at the time the alleged shoplifting occurred, you need to retain an attorney who is well-versed in handling juvenile crimes.

The juvenile court system is considerably different from an adult court. A juvenile court case begins with the filing of a petition. The judge will determine based on the petition whether the allegations are true. The petition will be followed by a detention hearing and future court appearances until a disposition can be reached. It is in the best interest of your child to retain an attorney as early in the process as possible.

Your Child’s Right to Counsel

Shoplifting is a serious theft crime. Depending on the value of the items stolen, a person may be charged with petty or grand theft. A conviction for either of these offenses may affect your child’s future in several ways. To minimize the impact of shoplifting charges, you need an experienced, focused attorney who knows the juvenile court system. 

Your child has a right to legal counsel. Failing to exercise that right could result in your child receiving a harsher sentence. A lawyer can often help achieve a more favorable outcome including negotiating for diversion or probation in lieu of detention.

Get the Legal Help Your Child Needs

At Ridley Defense, we understand that few things are black and white. Your child may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or may have made a bad decision. Our legal team is here to help you understand their legal options and to work to ensure that their rights are protected. We work tirelessly to mitigate the effect that these charges can have on their future. 

If your child has been accused of shoplifting, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. Ridley Defense founder Doug Ridley is a former Ventura County prosecutor. He has over 20 years of criminal defense experience and will do everything in his power to protect your child’s interests. Call now to discuss your child’s case.

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