Reeder & Brown, P.C.


What Happens a Minor Is Caught Shoplifting in Illinois?

 Posted on April 09,2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerSometimes a kid steals something because they need it and cannot afford to buy it. Sometimes they steal for the thrill they might get. Whatever the case may be, stealing is against the law and if you are caught doing it, you can face serious consequences. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor in America and is typically tried in juvenile court. However, even if they are not tried as an adult, they can face similar penalties and charges. This article will explain what happens when a juvenile is caught shoplifting, but if this has happened to your son, you should speak with an experienced Will County, IL juvenile defense attorney who can provide more information specific to your case and help defend him in court.

What Is Considered Shoplifting?

It is commonly known that when you want something you see in a store, you can pay for it and then you can take it. Shoplifting, legally referred to as retail theft, is when you take merchandise from a store or some other retail establishment without paying for it.

As far as punishment goes, if what was stolen is worth no more than $300, this would be a Class A misdemeanor and can be sentenced to up to $2,500 in fines, up to a year in jail, and up to two years of probation. If what was stolen is worth more than $300, your child can be charged with a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and up to 30 months of probation.

How Is Juvenile Retail Theft Handled?

If your son is caught shoplifting as a minor, the way his case will be handled is in large part determined by the retailer. They have several options, including:

  • Giving your son a warning
  • Calling the police to bring him to the police station and issue an official warning
  • Pressing charges, which could have your child facing juvenile charges.

If they press charges and your child is sentenced, he might have the option of moving forward with something called a deferred prosecution program, especially if this is his first offense. He will need to complete community service and attend counseling, but once he is done with the program, the charges might get dropped.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Plainfield, IL Juvenile Defense Attorney

All people make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. If your child makes a mistake like shoplifting, juvenile court might be able to give them a chance to turn their life around rather than making them serve time in jail. If your son was caught shoplifting, speak with a skilled Joliet, IL juvenile retail theft defense lawyer to understand your options. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we know that this can be an extremely important crossroads in your child’s life and we want to help you get the best possible outcome so he can still enjoy his bright future ahead. Call 815-885-5980 to schedule a free consultation.

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