A Juvenile Delinquency Attorney can help parents in Tampa whose child was arrested and now faces legal repercussions. It is no secret that many teenagers have shoplifted. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the charges that your son or daughter faces.
Florida’s Shoplifting Laws and Consequences
Shoplifting is a criminal act. The juvenile court may handle shoplifting and other delinquent cases differently than adult courts. Shoplifting is Larceny, and in Florida, it is also considered Retail Theft. Retail Theft may include stealing property from a merchant, changing tags or labels, taking shopping carts, or otherwise intending to steal from a merchant in terms of full retail value, benefit, or use.
In some cases, merchants may be able to prosecute for Property Damage as well as Larceny. For example, a charge of Shoplifting with a value of $100 or less can be classified as Petit Theft, a Second-Degree Misdemeanor. The penalties for this charge are fines of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. A second offense of Petit Theft, after one prior conviction for Petit Theft, is considered a First-Degree Misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. On the more severe end of the spectrum, if the property stolen has a value of $100,000 or more, or if there is property damage of more than $1,000 during the commission of a Grand Theft, then they face a First-Degree Felony. The penalties for a First-Degree Felony include up to $10,000 in fines and up to 30 years in prison.
Teenagers arrested for shoplifting face severe consequences. If your family is in this situation, contact a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney as soon as possible. McDermott Law Firm, P.A. can help Tampa Bay clients by defending their rights, fighting the charges, and assisting families through difficult times.
Penalties for shoplifting may include:
- Restitution. Prosecuted individuals may have to pay back the value of the shoplifted merchandise.
- Release to parents. First-time offenders with minor infractions may be fortunate enough to simply be released to their parents or guardians by the court.
- Diversion. Diversion programs include both education programs and community service, maintaining certain grades, and more.
- Probation. The offender may receive a probation order where they must do certain things like continue going to school, listen to their parents or guardians, report in with a probation officer, and more.
- Confinement. For serious cases, such as large amounts or repeat offenders, the court can send the individual to a detention facility, boot-camp style program, or weekend detention program.
- Counseling. Some offenders receive orders for counseling through state services.
If the child was arrested before, these penalties might be even more harsh, depending on the presiding judge. These can leave lasting repercussions on a young person, affecting their personal life, relationships, and career. Contact a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney in Tampa to discuss the case and see what possible options your family has for avoiding harsh penalties.
Criminal Defense After a Minor’s Arrest
Young people face potential legal trouble for more than shoplifting. If your son or daughter is facing arrest for another criminal act in Tampa, your family needs a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney to help fight for their rights.
Underage children may be arrested for crimes such as:
- Property Damage
- Disorderly Conduct
- Underage Drinking
- Fake IDs
There are many reasons why you will want to hire a lawyer to represent your child’s best interests after an arrest. For one, you want the case to go to juvenile court as opposed to adult court. Some minors can be tried as adults, and the consequences may be much more severe. Juvenile court, unlike adult court, focuses on rehabilitation and reconditioning as opposed to straight punishment. Judges do not want kids to become trapped in the criminal justice system cycle, so they try to give young people a chance to learn their lesson. However, it depends on the actions and the severity of the case.
Another reason you should hire a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney in Tampa to represent your son or daughter is because the police may have improperly questioned your child. A parent or attorney must be present whenever a police officer questions a minor. If this protocol was not adhered to, then it may be possible for your lawyer to move to have the statement suppressed from evidence.
Choose a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney in Tampa
It is essential that you choose the right Juvenile Delinquency Attorney when you need a Tampa attorney for your child’s defense. An attorney needs experience with juvenile law matters because the laws and punishments for minors differ from adults.
Choose a legal team that has your child’s best interests in mind and the experience to get the results you need. Choose McDermott Law Firm, P.A. in Tampa Bay. Our team will work tirelessly to minimize the impact on your son or daughter’s future. Call our office at (727) 367-1080 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney.