16 May 23

What You Need to Know if Your Child Is Charged With Shoplifting in Charlotte

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Last Updated on: 3rd June 2023, 09:16 pm

Shielding Your Child’s Future: Navigating the Legal System when Your Child is Confronted with Shoplifting Charges in Charlotte

As parents, nothing could be more devastating and heart-wrenching than receiving that dreaded phone call informing you that your child has been arrested for shoplifting in Charlotte. This alarming and overwhelming experience can plunge parents into a state of confusion and anger, but remember that you, as a responsible and nurturing parent, have a pivotal role to play in helping your child achieve the best possible outcome in their criminal case.

Diving Deeper into Shoplifting Charges in North Carolina

Shoplifting is a grave and consequential crime in North Carolina and is classified under larceny charges. It is committed when an individual takes property without the consent of the owner with a malicious intent to permanently dispose of it. If your child is caught in the act of shoplifting, they may be confronted with serious legal penalties depending on the circumstances surrounding their apprehension.

Understanding the Various Categories of Shoplifting Charges

Several potential scenarios could arise if your child finds themselves being arrested for shoplifting:

Scenario Description
Concealment of goods This applies if your child was caught with concealed merchandise while still inside the store.
Larceny of goods If apprehended outside the store with stolen items valued at less than $1,000, they would face Class 1 misdemeanor charges.
Felony vs Misdemeanor If your child stole items worth over $1,000 or used force during the theft, regardless of its value, they would be charged with a felony.

Navigating the Juvenile Court Proceedings

When your child is between the ages of six and fifteen and gets arrested for shoplifting, they will most likely be tried within the juvenile court system. Juvenile court proceedings may also apply to sixteen and seventeen-year-olds due to the “Raise The Age” law. Rather than facing criminal charges like adults, courts classify such behavior as delinquent and call for an adjudication hearing instead of a trial.

Advocating for Your Child’s Rights Post-Arrest

It’s essential to remember that your child has rights akin to adults when facing criminal charges. As their parent or guardian, you bear the responsibility to help them comprehend and exercise these privileges. Listed below are some of the fundamental rights that your child holds:

  • Right to Legal Representation: Your child has the constitutionally protected right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the legal process. Securing an adept criminal defense attorney is instrumental in achieving the most favorable outcome in their case.
  • Questioning by Police: Your child is not obligated to answer any questions by law enforcement officials unless accompanied by their lawyer. Moreover, they also have the right to your presence during any questioning.
  • Probable Cause Requirement: Before arresting or searching minors, law enforcement officers must have legitimate probable cause.
  • Right To Remain Silent: Under the Fifth Amendment, children have the right to remain silent during police interrogation as anything they say could be used against them. It is crucial for your child to understand and exercise this right fully.
  • Charges Against Them: Your child must be made aware of the specific crimes they are being accused of.

Discerning the Possible Penalties for Shoplifting

Juvenile courts aim to provide rehabilitation rather than punishment for minors involved in criminal acts like shoplifting. Depending upon the individual circumstances of their arrest, the penalties may include:

  • Release to Parents – Exonerated from all charges accompanied by a stern warning.
  • Fines – Imposition of specific fines to be paid within a designated time frame.
  • Restitution – Repayment of the stolen goods’ value to the store owner(s).
  • Probation – Felony shoplifting convicts might be handed probation sentences.
  • Counseling Sessions – Mandatory participation in counseling sessions to rectify their behavior.
  • Community Service Hours – Assigned a set number of community service hours to complete as part of their adjudication.


In the end, it is essential to understand that shoplifting charges can drastically impact and hurt your child’s future. By ensuring they receive the proper representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney and shielding their rights, you can make all the difference. Your child’s case should not be viewed as an indelible mark on their character but rather as an opportunity to offer guidance and rehabilitation where required.

What You Need to Know if Your Child Is Charged With Shoplifting in Charlotte

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