Many parents do not believe that their children would ever shoplift, however both males and females from every economic, social and age group sometimes commit theft crimes. The reasons can range from need, behavioral issues, peer pressure to sport. Some research suggests that kids who seem to have the fewest problems are most likely to shoplift, finding that the most popular kids at school are between two and three times more likely to shoplift than others.
Shoplifting is a greater problem than ever and concerned retailers are countering the shoplifting trend with more prosecutions, regardless of how old the thief is or how much he or she has stolen. Some national chains have even lowered the age for pressing charges from 18 to 16, and the ‘once obligatory call to the parent before contacting police’ is becoming a thing of the past.
Once a teen is in the legal system, he or she faces tougher treatment than ever before. Almost every state has revised its code so that records aren’t wiped clean at 18, as they once were, and Internet databases mean even minor convictions are searchable. One thoughtless mistake on the part of an impulsive teen can lead to difficulty getting into college, earning scholarships and finding work.
Wisconsin classifies theft offenses according to the value of property or services stolen. Depending on the value, a theft can result in a ticket or, in more serious cases, a misdemeanor or a felony charge. If a theft value is under $100, it will typically results in a ticket with no criminal charge. However, if the property or services stolen exceeds the hundred dollar mark, a defendant may be charged with a misdemeanor for thefts up to $2500, which could include a fine of no more than $10K and imprisonment of no more than 9 months. If a teen shoplifts something of a higher value, felony charges are likely.
If you have a child who has been charged with a crime, whether they are minors or have reached the age of consent, we can help protect your child’s future. Contact the Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC today.