Is a class C citation for shoplifing by a minor worth fighting?

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Is a class C citation for shoplifing by a minor worth fighting?

My 15 year old was with friends who shoplifted, but she did not participate. She tried to talk them out of it and did not leave the store with them. She waited a few minutes and them went out and her friends were waiting for her. At that time the security guard came out and took them in and call the police. The guard says that she was the “look-out”. which is not true, she is just guilty of bad judgement.

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, any citation for shoplifting - which is technically petty theft - is worth fighting is she is innocent.  It may seem that since she is a minor it may not be worth it because the state may seal the arrest and conviction when she is 18 but does she really need to worry about that issue her whole life?  Sometimes the state messes up and does NOT seal the record.  Then what?  And the arrest record is separate from the conviction record.  Even if you get the citation dismissed you will still have to apply to expunge or seal the arrest record.  Get a lawyer to help you with this please.  She seemed to actually have good judgement here but not participating in the the actual deed.  But sometimes peer pressure is too great at that age to have the courage to just walk away.  Good luck to her and to you.


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