What are the potential penalties for juvenile shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a serious criminal offense that has significant consequences. Penalties vary depending on the severity. However, individuals under the age of 18 who are convicted of shoplifting put their future at risk. The repercussions of shoplifting can have detrimental long-term effects on an individual’s future. It can hinder an individual’s ability to get into a good school or get a good job as the charges will appear on the juvenile’s record. Juvenile shoplifting is no laughing matter. If your child has been convicted of shoplifting, contact a qualified Rockland County Shoplifting Attorney who can help protect your child’s future. Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients get their charges sealed or expunged. 

What happens if a juvenile under the age of 18 is caught shoplifting?

The possible consequences juveniles face for shoplifting include:

Released and given a warning 

Typically, juveniles who are caught shoplifting are released back into their parents’ custody and receive a stern warning for their criminal actions. This warning means any future convictions will have worse penalties as they did not adhere to the warning. The court may require the juvenile to write a letter of apology to the store owner apologizing for their actions.


One of the more common consequences juveniles face for shoplifting is paying store owners restitution. Courts may require juveniles to repay a store owner the same or a higher amount to cover the monetary value of the stolen goods. Additionally, the court could require individuals to pay court fines as well.

Community service and counseling 

Another common punishment for shoplifting is having to complete a certain amount of community service hours. This may include picking up garbage in front of the store the individual stole from or speaking to other youths about why stealing is wrong. Furthermore, juveniles may have to attend individual or group counseling sessions.

Driving privileges 

The court may find the most suitable punishment is suspending an individual’s standard driver’s license. If an individual is too young to have a driver’s license, the court may suspend their eligibility, which prevents them from acquiring a standard driver’s license when they are of age.

Diversion program 

The court may find an education program or a diversion program to be an appropriate penalty for shoplifting. Diversion programs are similar to probation, meaning they both require individuals to adhere to certain conditions.

Juvenile detention 

A juvenile may face this frightening and serious punishment for their actions. When an individual is convicted of shoplifting they may be placed in a juvenile detention center until their hearing. This punishment is only appropriate when a juvenile has committed a felony shoplifting offense.

If your child has been charged with shoplifting, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our skilled and determined attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients defend their rights and interests. We are ready to fight on your behalf to ensure your child’s future is protected and charges are expunged.