Juvenile Shoplifting Charges in Florida
Unfortunately, many teens tend to “dabble” in illegal activities, one of the most popular of which is shoplifting. Categorized as petty theft and burglary under Florida Statute, Chapter 812, juvenile shoplifting is considered a criminal offense for which the offender can face juvenile charges. If found guilty, the juvenile offender then becomes a juvenile delinquent as opposed to a criminal, which they would be considered if tried and charged outside of the juvenile courts. Once a court determines that a child is a delinquent, they may dole out a punishment in accordance with the severity of the crime. For first time offenders, and for less severe cases, the punishment may be as simple as restitution and probation. However, for repeat offenders, or for cases of grand theft, the child delinquent may be forced to serve time in a juvenile detention facility. If your child was caught shoplifting, and if they face criminal charges, reach out to the Miami juvenile offenses attorneys at The Baez Law Firm for swift and effective legal defense.
Penalties for Juvenile Shoplifting in Florida
Because the law does not consider children to be wholly cognitive of their actions, they are not charged the as an adult would be for the same crime. This typically means that they stand to face far more lenient punishments for criminal activity. If caught shoplifting, a child stands to face the following penalties and repercussions for their actions:
- Release to Parents: If the child is a first time offender, and if he or she committed petty theft (such as stealing an article of clothing or some food from the convenience store), the courts may simply decide to do nothing more than release the juvenile into the care of his or her parent or guardian. The juvenile court judge may decide to lecture the juvenile, or to put a good scare into him or her, and leave them with a warning.
- Restitution: Many juvenile court judges will require the juvenile to pay restitution to the property owner for an amount up to the value of the property stolen.
- Probation: Probation is another common punishment for shoplifting. If convicted, the judge may place your child under probation for a period of typically up to six months. While under probation, your juvenile will be required to take certain actions, such as attend school, get a job, obey their parents’ rules, and report to a probation officer.
- Diversion: Similar to probation, a juvenile placed under diversion will have to adhere to certain rules and conditions much as if they were under probation. However, diversion can dictate a child into attending an education program, performing community service, or maintaining a specific grade point average.
- Counseling: Juvenile counseling is another favorite of juvenile court judges, and is typically provided through state services.
- Confinement: If the child is a repeat offender, if they are guilty of grand theft (i.e. stealing a vehicle, robbing a bank, or robbing a jewelry store), and/or if they used a weapon while committing the crime, the judge may order them to serve in a juvenile state penitentiary. If the judge feels that the child’s home life is a contributing factor to their delinquency, they may order the child into the care of a foster parent.
Consult a Miami Juvenile Offenses Attorney
At The Baez Law Firm, we understand just grave of an impact a juvenile charge can have on your child’s future. If your child was caught shoplifting or engaging in any other criminal conduct, reach out to our juvenile offenses attorneys right away to obtain swift and aggressive legal representation. Call our criminal law firm at 800-588-BAEZ to schedule your free consultation now.