If your kid has been arrested for shoplifting, don't assume that they are facing a minor or misdemeanor charge. Shoplifting can be a serious (felony) charge depending on the circumstances of the crime. For example, expect the kid to be charged with a felony under the following circumstances:
They Stole an Expensive Item
Stealing a five-thousand dollar watch will attract more serious charges than stealing a hundred dollar watch. Most states have shoplifting laws that specify a dollar limit above which shoplifting attracts felony charges. Therefore, expect your child to face serious charges if they stole an expensive item or a large amount of money.
They Damaged the Vendor's Security Apparatus
The manner in which the shoplifting was executed may also determine the severity of the charges the kid will face. For example, some states will charge your kid with a felony if the kid damaged the vendor's security systems such as CCTV cameras or alarm systems. This is even more likely if the kid used a tool for the damaged and they had carried the tool along specifically for the act.
They Have a History of Shoplifting
Criminal laws are meant both to punish and deter crime. Clearly, if your child has been shoplifting now and again, then the punishments they have been getting aren't enough to cure them of the disease. At least that is how lawmakers reason, which is why a repeat shoplifter is likely to face a harsher sentence than a kid who has just stolen for the first time.
They Participated In Organized Shoplifting
The government considers organized crime more dangerous than solo crimes. This is partly because organized crime usually ends up causing more problems than a solo crime. Therefore, if your kid was part of a gang or participated in the shoplifting with some friends, then they are likely to face a more serious crime. This is even more likely if the organized crew has been targeting or planned to target several stores.
They Planned to Sell the Stolen Item
The police will also be interested in unearthing your kid's intentions for stealing the merchandise. Most states prefer serious charges for those who steal and resell the stolen items. Therefore, if your teenager steals a pair of high-end sneakers to sell, they are more likely to face more serious charges than if they planned to wear the sneakers.
In short, if your teenager has been charged with shoplifting, get them a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact a law office like Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser for more information and assistance.