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Everything you need to know about juvenile shoplifting charges 

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Has your child been charged with shoplifting? New Jersey has strict juvenile shoplifting laws, and depending on the value of the goods stolen, your child could be facing time in a juvenile detention facility. 

The New Jersey juvenile justice system is complex and different from the adult criminal justice system. However, a conviction can have serious long-term consequences to your child’s future, including hindering them from obtaining a higher education, limited career options, and financial strains. 

Penalties for juvenile shoplifting in South Jersey

The judge can impose different sentences if your child is charged with shoplifting. The most common is supervised probation, which often comes with other requirements, such as community service, paying a reimbursement, or counseling.

The judge can also sentence your child to a juvenile detention facility. Here are the maximum sentences for juvenile shoplifting in South Jersey:

  • Items worth less than $200: This charge is considered a disorderly person offense, and carries a maximum sentence of six months in detention.
  • Items valued between  $200 to $500: This is a fourth-degree crime, which can mean one year in detention.
  • Items valued between $500 to $75,000: This third-degree crime can lead to two years in detention.
  • Items worth over $75,000: This is a second-degree crime, which is equal to three years in a detention facility.

Sometimes, the value of the stolen merchandise can be added together. For instance, if your child coordinated with others to steal, your child can be charged individually for the total value of the items. 

Protect your child’s future after a juvenile shoplifting charge

If your child is facing a juvenile shoplifting charge, you might worry about their future.  The criminal record can be used to determine future criminal charges, and it can impact college acceptance. Therefore, if you just received the call that your child is in custody for shoplifting, seek sound legal advice to help protect their future.