It’s the call that no parent wants to get. The police have picked up your teenager for shoplifting. From a possible criminal record to the embarrassment of friends and family finding out, a child’s arrest can be challenging for any parent.
Although theft is a crime, how would you deal with it if your teen insists they had good intentions behind it? A possible excuse might be stealing a sandwich for a homeless person or taking something as a lovely birthday gift for their sibling. How does their good intention play out with the actual charge? Is there ever a good excuse for shoplifting?
Handling Your Teen’s Shoplifting Arrest
Talk with your child. Though your first reaction might be anger and irritation, you must remain calm. If your teen has been arrested and is in a police station, chances are they are frightened or hysterical. Please encourage them to tell you the whole story and their reasoning behind it and ask that they be honest with you. Let them know that the more natural and forthcoming they are, the more likely it will be that you can help them.
- Talk with the authorities. If this is your teen’s first offense, talk with the arresting officer about the shoplifting circumstances. Find out if there is any way to speak with the store owner or have your child apologize instead of proceeding with criminal charges. For the most part, nobody involved in the situation will be interested in seeing a good kid who has made a mistake damage their future with a criminal record.
- Get copies of all paperwork. Suppose your child has been arrested on a criminal charge such as shoplifting. In that case, you will want to ensure you have copies of all the necessary paperwork should you seek the advice of a criminal attorney for the court proceedings. For more information, go to: https://www.devorelawoffice.com/. Take notes and ask your teen to write down the full details of the situation, including any extenuating circumstances and intentions, so they don’t forget anything. Every bit of information you can provide to your attorney will help.
- Prepare your teen for the possible outcomes. Although your child may have shoplifted with the best intentions, they must know how serious the crime they have committed is and how it could damage their future. Discuss how an arrest record can impact college applications, future job prospects, and their reputation as a whole. Talk with them about the expenses you will now incur with attorneys and court costs.
It is also vital that they know there is a possibility the charge will be dismissed; however, do not let that take away from the seriousness of the charge.
Dealing with your teen’s shoplifting arrest is difficult for any parent. However, by remaining calm and following the appropriate steps, the possibility for your child to come out of it unscathed becomes better. Although they may have had the best intentions, they must remember that theft is never acceptable in the future.
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