What happens if you’re a minor that stole $800 dollars worth of stuff but returned it?

UPDATED: May 14, 2014

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What happens if you’re a minor that stole $800 dollars worth of stuff but returned it?

One child is 14 and the other one is 17. What will be the consequences for them even if they returned everything little thing? The kids were caught by the store and were arrested but didn’t go to jail, their parents had to come down to the police station and pick them. It’s there first time ever committing a crime, so what might the judge say/ do about this? I do not want them to go to jail, is there anyway they can get community service? Also what if the parents can’t afford an attorney can they defend themselves? Because based on what I’ve heard the attorney the court provides you doesn’t really do that great of a job.

Asked on May 14, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The kids are NOT going to be sent to jail for a first offense.  They will probably have to pay a fine which will be considerably more than the value of the items that were taken.   The parents will be stuck paying that.  If the kids were charged with a felony due to the value of the items taken, the public defender is an option even though you indicated that you didn't want to pursue that.

Although it is NOT possible to predict the judge's actual sentence; a fine and possibly community service are what to expect in this case.

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