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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32343
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My 15 year old daughter is facing charges of attempting to

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My 15 year old daughter is facing charges of attempting to steal approx. $40 of merchandise from Kohl's. Totally stupid teenage brain-fart, clearly did it (took the tags off a pair of shorts and put them in her back-pack), never had done anything like this before. What should I do?

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

Have you hire an attorney yet?

JD 1992 :

hired

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

No

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

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.

JD 1992 :

They probably aren't going to dismiss the charges, it would be extremely unusual if they did.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

So what will they do then -- what can we expect to happen if she admits she is guilty of trying to steal the merchandise.

JD 1992 :

Probation and a fine.

JD 1992 :

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.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

How long would the probation last.

JD 1992 :

It depends, usually 6 months but the judge can do more or less.

JD 1992 :

Some judges make it a year as a matter of course.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

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.

JD 1992 :

A minor's record is never really "cleared" but it is hidden and nobody is supposed to reveal any information about it.

JD 1992 :

So that shouldn't be an issue.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

Even if the job application asks have your ever been charges/convicted of any offense?

JD 1992 :

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.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

Well, at this point what kind of "resolution" can I be asking the court for?

JD 1992 :

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.

JACUSTOMER-07oqss80- :

Ok, thanks for you help and advise.

JD 1992 :

Anything else I can answer fo ryou?

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