Certainly a record of criminal conviction can have a profound effect on children as they enter into their adult lives. But while children make many bad choices, those choices do not have to ruin their lives, particularly when you identify and correct them early. If your minor child faces shoplifting charges in Georgia, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can explore a number of alternatives to improve the results of the case – and protect your minor’s future.
There are currently about 27 million shoplifters in the U.S., according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP). While about 25 percent of shoplifters are minors, more than half of adult shoplifters started along this path while in their teens. Children often begin shoplifting as a result of peer pressure, and the NASP likens the shoplifting experience to an addiction. In fact, about 33 percent of juveniles report that getting caught may not discourage them from trying again. This is one reason why parents must aggressively address the issue the first time their children face charges — and before the act becomes habitual.
As you might expect, an experienced Georgia shoplifting attorney can offer more legal alternatives to children and teens with no prior record. Provided the minor steals low-value goods without hurting anyone while committing the crime, a lawyer can take action to stop the trial from taking place. And even after conviction, youthful offenders can qualify for records restriction, the new law replacing expungement as of July 1, 2013.
Your teenager may feel intense pressure from friends to shoplift, but you need to look at the frightening first arrest experience as an opportunity to help ensure a child does not become a repeat offender. The attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP are ready to provide you and your child with a case evaluation to analyze the details surrounding the charges.
Contact us today to set up a consultation.