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Shoplifting Consequences for Minors

What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting If You're Under 18?

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Shoplifting as a minor can negatively impact your future as you enter young adulthood. To avoid having a charge on your record (or your child’s record, if you are the parent), you need the representation of a Jackson criminal defense lawyer from Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC. Contact us today.

Legal Punishment for Shoplifting in Tennessee

In most cases, legal penalties are generally less harsh for minors, but can vary depending on factors such as scale of the crime and previous criminal record. A shoplifting charge is no different. In the state of Tennessee, theft crimes are classified according to the monetary amount of what was stolen, and cases become even more complicated when the suspect is a minor.

What Are the Shoplifting Consequences for Minors?

Minors who are caught shoplifting can be detained by police officers or store management present in the business where the crime took place. A minor can be kept in holding while store management investigates the case/questions the suspect, as well as while waiting for parents or legal guardians to arrive if they were not accompanying the child at the time.

The legal punishments for shoplifting vary and often depend on the previous criminal record of the offender. Prison time and fines are a possibility, but additionally, a convicted shoplifter under the age of 18 could be faced with probation or mandatory rehabilitation services such as a counseling program.Tennessee State Shoplifting Laws

If charged with shoplifting in Tennessee, the penalties will depend on the monetary amount of the merchandise. Shoplifting is generally considered a misdemeanor.

How Much Is a Shoplifting Fine?

  • The minimum penalty for misdemeanor theft crimes in Tennessee is a prison sentence of 30 days or less, and a fine no greater than $50.
  • For a Class A misdemeanor, offenders can face up to an 11-month and 29-day prison sentence and/or a $2,500 fine.

Shoplifting falls into Tennessee’s “Theft of Merchandise” code, which specifies the financial classifications for theft crimes. The charges range from a Class A misdemeanor for stolen property valued at $500 or less, up to a Class A felony for stolen property valued at $250,000 or more.

In cases of shoplifting, the consequences for the crime are often civil liability rather than criminal punishment. Tennessee law outlines potential financial penalties that can arise in shoplifting cases resulting in civil liability. As is the case with criminal consequences, the amounts depend on the amount of merchandise stolen, its worth, and the nature of the crime. The parents or legal guardians of a minor who has been charged with shoplifting can face additional financial penalties if a civil liability agreement is reached.

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