If my daughter got a shoplifting charge, what should I do?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my daughter got a shoplifting charge, what should I do?

She was at a store and was trying to pay for some make up but the cashier said she could not buy it because she was a minor. So my daughter left the line to look for her sister to get it but loss prevention stopped her. She was not trying to steal it but only step past the alarm to call her sister. Their was no sign saying she couldn’t buy the make up because of age limit. What should I do? She has no prior record for any theft. Is it expensive?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Criminal Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Shoplifting is a criminal offense; accordingly your daughter should retain legal representation counsel. An experienced criminal defense attorney might be able to get the charge dismissed or at least get it reduced. Also, assuming that she is a first-time offender, she may be offered what is called as "diversion" (or your state's equivalent). This is an alternative sentencing program in which she will go to court and plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon successful completion, her plea will be withdrawn and the case dismissed. 
That having been said, diversion is only allowed for a first offense. This means that if your daughter ever again get into trouble (let's hope not), it will not be available to her regarding any future charge. Therefore, if you hire a lawyer to defend her, and they get the case dismissed, she will be eligible for diversion should she ever need it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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