Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
Have you hire an attorney yet?
That's the first step. While your daughter isn't likely to go to juvenile jail or anything like that, the attorney can help make the whole process easier for her and the family and also make sure that the least possible punishment takes place.
If the funds aren't available to hire a private attorney then you can ask that one be appointed but as a general rule court appointed attorneys handle the issues in the case but don't make the process any smoother for the family.
Usually what happens in these type cases is the child has to do some probation, some community service, and then check in with the probation officer regularly.
You will also have to pay fees and usually fines. The attorney can end up paying for themselves by shortening the time you have to pay probation fees and getting the fine amount lowered.
What kind of punishment might there be. She's a first time offender of any type, actually a model citizen up to this point. We have already settled the civil claim with Kohl's. Her court date is actually tomorrow. I had figured we would just admit she did something really stupid, for no apparent reason (she was actually in Kohl's shopping with her mother at the time she was caught by store security), and ask to have the charges dismissed.
They probably aren't going to dismiss the charges, it would be extremely unusual if they did.
So what will they do then -- what can we expect to happen if she admits she is guilty of trying to steal the merchandise.
Probation and a fine.
How long would the probation last.
It depends, usually 6 months but the judge can do more or less.
Some judges make it a year as a matter of course.
After that is her "record" cleared. I just need to know the potential impact on her trying to get a job when she turns 17 in Oct. 2014 -- a number of the teenage clothing stores at the Mall are already telling her that as soon as she turns 17 she can get a job with them.
A minor's record is never really "cleared" but it is hidden and nobody is supposed to reveal any information about it.
So that shouldn't be an issue.
Even if the job application asks have your ever been charges/convicted of any offense?
That is one reason to get a lawyer. They can help get a resolution that isn't a conviction. Most applications ask about convictions, not charges.
Well, at this point what kind of "resolution" can I be asking the court for?
You can ask for a pretrial diversion or a deferred adjudication, if the judge lets you talk at all. Typically you aren't allowed to talk for your daughter or ask for anything. Only an attorney can do that.
Ok, thanks for you help and advise.
Anything else I can answer fo ryou?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).