What happens if a minor is caught shoplifting?

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What happens if a minor is caught shoplifting?

On 8/3/10 I was caught shoplifting 3 items valued at $33.98. I was not arrested because I have no record and this was my 1st offense. However, an officer did report my attempt in shoplifting. A Wal-Mart associate told me I would get a letter in the mail in 7-10 days with my fine and court date, but it only came stating my official court date. No fine charge ever came. I did a bit of research on Wal-Mart shoplifting and sites stated in order for them to prosecute me, I must be between the ages of 18 and 64 and take at least $25 worth of goods. I took at least $25, but I’m only 17.

Asked on August 21, 2010 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If an officer made a report, and you have a court date, then it sounds like you got arrested.  Contrary to popular belief, in order for an "arrest" to techincallly occur, you do not actually have to be handcuffed and be brought to the police station.  Rather, anytime you are charged with a crime (even if it is just something like speeding) then tecnhically an arrest has occurred.  In any event, if you have a pending court date then this is something that you need to take seriously.  I strongly recommend that you consult with a local criminal defense attorney prior to your court date.  In light of the fact that you are a minor there is a good chance than an attorney will be able to resolve this matter without any consequences with respect to your permanent record.  Good luck.


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