Recent figures from the National Crime Prevention Council show that approximately 25% of all shoplifters – which is about 27 million- are between the ages of 13 and 17. That means that over 6,750,000 young people are involved in a serious crime. While society may not look upon it as such, it is a misconception that shoplifting is an insignificant thing; almost a rite of passage with some groups and cliques. As parents, and as a nation, we are usually focused on “more serious” issues such as drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling etc. Many times, shoplifting is not seen as a terribly serious problem.
In a survey published by The Josephson Institute of Ethics, research showed that one in three boys and one in four girls admitted shoplifting in the past year. If your child has admitted to shoplifting, should you be concerned? Yes, very concerned. Over 30 per cent of prisoners report that they started their criminal careers with some form of shoplifting. If convicted of shoplifting, the least your child may have to do is pay fines or do community service. There is a good chance he or she could be sentenced to a detention facility, juvenile hall or even jail.
Shoplifting can have even more serious consequences than you might realize. Many universities and colleges do background checks these days, which might prevent your child from being accepted to where they really want to attend college. A conviction of shoplifting on your record can prevent many employers from hiring you. Even if it’s a sealed juvenile record, you may find a more limited choice of what jobs may be available to you.
Teach your children how to stand up to peer pressure and comprehend how they may jeopardize their future if they shoplift. Instruct your children about the consequences of shoplifting. Make sure that they understand that a choice they make in an instant or on a dare ca result in horrible lifelong consequences.
If you or your child have been detained for shoplifting, do not just plead guilty, thinking you will receive just a “slap on the wrist”. It is imperative that you receive competent legal advice. Immediately after being detained or arrested, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (714) 336-5303 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.