If an individual under the age of 18 commits a crime in AZ, their case is typically handled in the Arizona juvenile justice system, as opposed to the criminal justice system used for adults. Juvenile shoplifting is considered petty theft and is often charged as a misdemeanor, unless the price of the stolen property is significant.
As the value of the stolen goods increases, so does the severity of the punishment. In Arizona, stealing anything worth $1,000 or more is a felony.
Juvenile Penalties for Shoplifting
Through the lens of the law, juveniles don’t have the same decision-making capabilities that adults have. So, consequences for juvenile shoplifting and juvenile theft tend to encourage behavior correction and rehabilitation. Penalties that a juvenile shoplifting offender can expect to receive in Arizona include:
- Restitution – The court may order the juvenile to repay the store owner the full amount of the stolen property, if they have a source of income. If the juvenile doesn’t have a job or another source of income, the court can order them to obtain employment in order to repay their debt.
- Probation – Courts can decide to impose probation on the juvenile with a strict set of rules that usually lasts about six months. Basically, the juvenile is required to stay in school while maintaining a specific grade point average, obey their parents, and routinely report to a probation officer.
- Release to Parents – In some cases, when the value of the item is minimal, and the juvenile has no prior offenses, the court will release the minor into the custody of their parents or guardian. The court will warn the juvenile about the grim consequences ahead of them if they’re arrested again.
- Placement – If the juvenile has a prior history of shoplifting, the court may order the juvenile to attend a boot camp or a detention center for rehabilitation. If the court determines that the juvenile’s home life is contributing to their delinquency, they may order the minor into a foster home.
- Counseling – Courts may order the juvenile to a counselor through state services, or the court may order the juvenile’s legal guardians to find a qualified family counselor.
- Diversion –These programs are only available to first time offenders and are similar to probation. The court orders the juvenile to attend an educational program, do community service, or maintain a certain grade point average and a high level of academic integrity.
Has Your Child Been Arrested for Shoplifting in Arizona?
If your son or daughter has been arrested for shoplifting in Arizona, contact the juvenile defense lawyers at JacksonWhite today. The criminal attorneys at JacksonWhite will work with you and your child to minimize the potential repercussions associated with AZ juvenile shoplifting charges.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.