Thanks for the additional info.
I believe you are going to need a lawyer to assist you locally. There is no substitute for that, here's why:
I checked out the Esteem website, and right now, your son's situation does not seem to fit any of their parameters. He stands charged, but not convicted. Also, he is not an employee. I would hire an attorney to get on this with appropriate stern language to put the store and Esteem on notice: the he is not convicted, and that he is a juvenile. This will probably slow them down, and it will be critical to your son's future should prospective employers utilize the Esteem services.
Now, as to the charge, it will be up to the juvenile department whether to keep this as an informal referral, or to file a full petition. if this is his first referral, I don't think it will go judicial, but they may require some responsibility classes, counselling, and community service. It will make a big impression if you were able to explain how seriously you are taking this and the steps taken at home to get your son's attention.
I think the last part of your question is perhaps the most important. As a former career prosecutor and now back in criminal defense, I can tell you that this incident is not the "end of the world" for your son. All previous opportunities remain on the table. He may or may not even have an entry on his NCIC (criminal record), because without a formal arrest and detention, the actual authorities don't know who your child is. Again, a good lawyer that knows the local courts can be very important in making a difference.
He'll get through this, and if he doesn't a repeat performance of anything similar, he will be fine. But, for now, may a few more days, it probably wouldn't hurt that he continue very concerned. (I've got two teens myself).
I hope this help you.
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