Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry

Shoplifting is a common juvenile crime; defense strategies exist

Juveniles often find themselves in trouble with the law for a variety of reasons, with shoplifting among the most common. While this doesn't appear to be the most serious crime, the penalties and consequences can be quite severe.

As a parent of a juvenile charged with shoplifting, it's important to focus your immediate attention on the details of their arrest. When combined with information from your child, you will gain a better understanding of what happened and the next steps in the process.

Just the same as any crime, there is more than one way to fight a shoplifting charge. Although doing so will cost you time and money, it's better than hoping for the best and letting your child deal with the consequences.

Here are some important details to consider:

  • Intent is critical in any shoplifting case: Shoplifting entails two elements: the intentional concealment of an item for sale, and the intent to leave the store without paying for the item. If you can prove there was no intention to shoplift, such as by showing that you tried to return the item after realizing you didn't pay for it, the chance of avoiding a conviction is much greater.
  • Challenging unreliable or inaccurate evidence: For example, a witness observation is not always as clear as it first appears to be. Proving that evidence or a witness statement is biased, inaccurate or unreliable is invaluable in proving your innocence.
  • Your legal team can negotiate: You don't necessarily have to go through the entire formal court process. The legal team you hire can negotiate a plea deal, with the idea of avoiding the most serious punishment. They may even be able to work directly with the store to avoid prosecution.

Juvenile shoplifting is a big deal, as a conviction can harm your child in many ways. For example, with this on their record, securing a job is a challenge.

Fortunately, there are many shoplifting defense strategies that can help avoid a conviction or lessen the penalty. If you're assisting your child after a shoplifting charge, don't hesitate to learn more about their legal rights, how to protect them and which defense strategy makes the most sense.

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Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry

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Saint Louis, MO 63105

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