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Teen Caught Shoplifting | Teenage Shoplifting Consequences

Law Office of Katie Walsh
Teen Caught Shoplifting

Although the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dip in theft throughout California, the numbers are beginning to rise again. As of early October, there had been 3,744 instances of shoplifting reported in the Golden State for 2022. This combines with nationwide statistics that approximately 25% of shoplifters are teenagers, and 50% of adult shoplifters state that they began stealing in their teens.

Instances of teen shoplifting are nothing new in Orange County, but this charge can have a profound impact on your child’s future — whether they face criminal charges or school disciplinary actions. That’s why it’s important to have qualified representation if your child is arrested.

What To Do If Your Teen Is Caught Shoplifting

You may not have raised your teen to steal, but that doesn’t mean that the idea will never cross their mind. If your teen is arrested for shoplifting, you may find yourself overwhelmed with emotions and unsure of where you went wrong.

The important thing is to remember that while you did not cause this situation, you can help them to overcome it. One of the first things you should do is find a criminal defense attorney experienced in juvenile misdemeanor cases. You should also sit your teen down and calmly hold them accountable for their actions. Your teen may not be willing to talk about why they stole; they might also not see it as a big deal. Lay out the potential consequences, both to themselves and to the store from which they shoplifted.

Teenage Shoplifting Consequences in California

There are a few different consequences for shoplifting in the state of California. The judge will assign the penalty that they feel best suits the case at hand.

The most common consequence for teen shoplifting is restitution, in which the teenager will be ordered to repay the store owner for the value of the goods stolen or an amount slightly higher. In some cases, your teen might be sent to the juvenile probation department for informal probation without having to appear in court. Once the requirements of the probation are met, charges are dismissed. These requirements might include:

  • Community service hours
  • Volunteering
  • Maintaining good grades
  • Restitution

In a more serious case, detention at a juvenile facility may be ordered. Teens repeatedly arrested for shoplifting could even face time in a detention center. In some cases, the student’s school might take disciplinary actions, such as suspension or even expulsion. This will depend on school policies, though a one to five day suspension is more common.

Benefits of Qualified Teen Shoplifting Representation

The process for your teen’s case will depend on the severity of the theft. If this is their first offense, they may simply be released home and given informal probation. For repeat offenders, they may be in court facing more serious consequences. These might be uncharted waters for you, and certainly for your teen.

A qualified teen shoplifting attorney can help you to understand what to expect and support you and your teen during this stressful time. They will also advocate for your teen so that the consequences won’t overshadow the crime. While shoplifting is a serious issue, this should not derail your child’s life. Hiring qualified teen shoplifting representation will help to ensure it doesn’t.

Need an Orange County Juvenile Defense Attorney? Choose Katie Walsh

Attorney Katie Walsh has over a decade of experience working with juvenile law in Orange County. She spent nine years as a prosecutor at the Orange County District Attorney’s office before opening her own firm as a juvenile defense attorney.

Because of this, she understands how the state builds the case and uses that to help juveniles charged with crimes, anywhere from felonies to misdemeanors like shoplifting. She can even negotiate with schools on your child’s behalf at expulsion or suspension hearings.

Contact Katie Walsh today to set up a free consultation for your child’s case.

Client Reviews

I hired attorney Katie Walsh to help my son when he was found with a large amount of drugs on school campus. She got us through the Expulsion Hearing, and miraculously he can go back to school at the winter semester...

AR- parent of minor client

I hired Katie Walsh to have my felony convictions expunged. She was able to expunge my record within 6 weeks of me giving her all the information. Even though technically I had a probation violation, and therefore the...

AR, criminal client

My 16 year old son was charged with possession of Marijuana, HS 11357(b). I was very concerned about what would happen to him and how this would affect his future. I contacted Ms. Walsh and she assured me that everything...

CT, parent of juvenile client

My child was charged with Felony Penal Code 597(a)- Animal Cruelty. After hiring Katie Walsh, she got the charges reduced to a misdemeanor, counseling, and 40 hours of chores at home. We come back in 6 months and the...

DH - Parent of Juvenile client

I hired Katie Walsh to represent my son on sexual abuse allegations- P.C. 288(a) and P.C. 288(b)- they were Strike Charges. After negotiating with the D.A., she got all the strike charges dismissed, and got my son...

DR- mother of juvenile client

Katie Walsh was fantastic throughout this entire process! My 13 year old son was charged with two counts of lewd act on a minor, PC 288(a) and was in juvenile hall. After hiring Ms. Walsh, she GOT MY SON OUT OF JAIL and...

EG, parent of juvenile client

My 14 year old son was arrested at school for P.C. 311 (child pornography). My son had innocent and stupid nude pictures of himself and friends on his phone. Ms. Walsh was extremely easy to talk to, and made my son feel...

GK,TK, parents of juvenile client

Ms. Walsh was a life saver when I didn't know what was going on, or how to handle the situation. My young daughter was attacked at her middle school and was seriously injured. At a time when both the school and the...

HA, mother of 13 year old Victim Rights client

I hired Katie Walsh to seal my juvenile record of PC 288(a) (lewd act on a minor), after my request had been denied by a Judge and by the Probation Department. After speaking with Probation, the DA and the Judge at a...

JW, former juvenile client

I was charged with a Felony Conspiracy charge- PC 182. After hiring Ms. Walsh she got my charged reduced to a misdemeanor right away, and now I just have to do community service and in 6 months my entire case will be...

KP, juvenile client

Ms. Walsh was like a breath of fresh air throughout this entire process. I was uncertain about the outcome, but she told me everything would be ok- and it was. She had my juvenile record sealed within 3 months of...

LR, former juvenile client

Ms. Walsh got the judge to terminate my son's probation and seal his 2 juvenile cases (Penal Code 288(a) and Penal Code 242) even though he had violated my probation by picking up a new case. By getting his record sealed...

MB- mother of juvenile client

At a very difficult time in my life I contacted attorney Katie Walsh. I am a teacher and was being harassed/stalked by a parent at my school. I wanted a Restraining Order against this person. Ms. Walsh listened to me...

MB, restraining order client

My son was charged with Lewd Conduct, P.C. 647 out of Downey, CA. After hiring Ms. Walsh, she spoke with the District Attorney, Probation, and the Judge. Even though the judge was not pleased with the offer, she was able...

MG, parent of minor

It is with sincere gratitude that I send this recommendation As a parent of a child that was arrested on a Felony Domestic Abuse charge and over 2000 miles away I had to rely on friend of a friends word that you would...

MPF, mother of criminal client

I really liked having Ms. Walsh as my attorney. She visited me in Juvenile Hall. I was charged with four counts of Robbery (Penal Code 211). This was my 8th juvenile petition. Ms. Walsh got 2 of the robbery charges...

MU, juvenile client

I was arrested for a felony Domestic charge, PC 273.5(a). After I hired Katie Walsh, my entire case was dismissed. I never had to appear in court. I felt very comfortable with Ms. Walsh- she was easy to speak with...

NF, criminal client

Katie was instrumental in helping me with a criminal matter as an advocate for me and my children when I was a named victim in a DV case. She patiently and expediently addressed all of my questions and was an invaluable...


My daughter was pulled over arrested for having a Fake ID. After hiring Ms. Walsh my daughter did not have to plead guilty- which would have affected her license status. She did community service, completed a legal...


My 14 year old daughter was involved in an assault and battery- PC 240/242, in Irvine. After hiring Katie Walsh the case was not referred to Court. My daughter was able to complete a class and the case will be dismissed...

SG, mother a juvenile client

My son was charged with possession of Child Pornography P.C. 311.11(a) - a charge I did not realize a child could be guilty of! As parents were beside ourselves when we found this out, and contacted Katie Walsh. She...

SH- mother of juvenile client

From San Diego I contacted Ms. Walsh about sealing my juvenile record in Orange County regarding a Petty Theft charge. She was always very responsive to any of my questions, and consistently kept me updated. Even though...

XL, juvenile client

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