As a parent, you likely do everything possible to point your child in the right direction. That’s why receiving a call that they are in legal trouble can be devastating. If your minor child was caught shoplifting, understanding what you can do to help them is critical. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances, like how to proceed and why you should consult a Peoria theft lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Shoplifting, formally known as retail theft in Illinois, is not uncommon. Unfortunately, many children are charged with this, as it is often an act of rebellion or peer pressure. Regardless, this can have penalties and impacts on your child’s ability to succeed in the future.
When someone is caught taking merchandise or goods from a store without paying for them or concealing the true price of the item to pay significantly less for it, they are shoplifting or committing retail theft.
If your child was caught shoplifting, it’s necessary to proceed with caution. When you receive the call, you’ll want to take note of who made contact with you. If it was the store owner, this is a positive sign that they may not have called the police. However, if an officer calls you, this means you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
In many instances, a minor caught shoplifting for the first time will be given a warning and released into the custody of their parent or guardian. However, if the item they stole was of a high value or they damaged property in the process, they will likely face the full extent of the law.
If your child is found shoplifting, they could face a number of consequences. It’s important to note that a juvenile who has committed a crime is not referred to as a criminal but rather a delinquent, and they will be adjudicated instead of convicted if they are found guilty. The following are some of the consequences a child can face if caught shoplifting in Illinois:
It’s also critical to understand that as a parent or guardian, you can be held liable for the cost of the item and the store owner’s legal fees under the Illinois Parental Responsibility Law.
If you receive a call that your child has shoplifted, taking the necessary precautions to help them avoid legal trouble is critical. Though you are rightfully angry or disappointed, it’s important to ensure their future isn’t ruined over a single mistake. That’s why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case. Not only will a lawyer help you navigate the complexities of this process, but they will also represent your child’s best interest in these moments. In fact, they may even be able to prove that the child had no intent to steal and that the store owner simply assumed the worst.
At Giraudo Law, we understand how complex and frustrating these circumstances can be. That’s why our team is ready to assist you with any issues you may face if your child has been caught stealing from a retail location. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in these instances.