What happens if someone under the age of 18 is caught shoplifting?

shoplifting boy on bench in park

Individuals should never steal merchandise from a store as they will be charged with shoplifting and face serious consequences for their actions. Shoplifting is a criminal offense. Individuals may face hefty fines and jail time. However, there are different penalties for individuals who shoplift under the age of 18. If you have been charged with juvenile shoplifting, contact a qualified and determined Pensacola Theft Crime Lawyer. We can fight on your behalf today to help get your record expunged.

What are the possible consequences of juvenile shoplifting?

There are several consequences individuals under the age of 18 may face for shoplifting. Ultimately, the consequences depend on the circumstances of the offense. This means it depends on the amount an individual has stolen and if it was their first offense, juveniles face serious consequences including:


Oftentimes, if it is a juvenile’s first shoplifting offense, they will typically be released to their parents and receive a warning.

Restitution & Fines

Additionally, one of the more common penalties a juvenile faces is they have to pay restitution. Restitution is a method of paying the property owner back for the stolen merchandise. Typically, the restitution amount will match the value of the stolen merchandise. However, the court may find it appropriate for the juvenile to also pay fines to the court as well.

Community service

Another penalty individuals may face is community service. Individuals may have to complete a certain amount of allotted community service hours as part of their penalties for shoplifting. Community service can range from helping out at homeless shelters to picking up trash on the side of the road.


Furthermore, the court may find counseling to be the most suitable consequence for the juvenile. Individuals may be ordered to attend counseling if the court determines it can help prevent an individual from shoplifting in the future.


Juvenile probation may be another option the court deems appropriate. Typically, the court will only find this penalty appropriate if the juvenile was convicted of a felony offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court can order juvenile probation for six months. Juveniles must adhere to the terms of their probation which includes reporting to a probation officer and obeying their guardian’s orders.


One of the more severe consequences an individual face is juvenile detention or confinement. Typically, this type of penalty is only ordered for individuals who have repeatedly shoplifted. There are several different types of juvenile detention programs they may deem appropriate such as boot camps.

If you are under the age of 18 and have been convicted of shoplifting, reach out to one of our trusted and experienced team members. Unfortunately, juvenile records can negatively impact an individual’s life. Our firm is committed to helping our clients get their juvenile records sealed or expunged.