What will happen to me if I’m a minor and got caught shoplifting?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What will happen to me if I’m a minor and got caught shoplifting?

I wasn’t the one to do it; my friend was and I was just there with her. The total amount of what was stolen came to $30-$40. They said that they’ll send paperwork in the mail in 4-6 weeks saying how much I need to pay for the fine from their lawyers. Am I going to have to go to court or anything else I should worry about besides the fine? And how much the fine can be? It was my first time and they said it’s not going on my permanent record.

Asked on December 21, 2015 under Criminal Law, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The "paperwork" is a letter which will state the amount of the fine that needs to be paid.  It is unknown what that amount will be except that it will be considerably more than the value of the items that were taken.
If the fine is paid, that will end the matter.  If the fine is NOT paid, the case will go to court and criminal charges will be filed.  The letter will explain all of this.

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