In the United States, a person is considered a juvenile if he or she is under 18 years old. You may have heard the phrase “juvenile delinquency” before, but you may be unsure about what it actually means. It is generally defined as the repeated commitment of criminal offenses by a young person, typically one below the age at which traditional criminal prosecution is possible. In many instances where a crime was committed by a minor, a separate juvenile court system hears these cases and promotes rehabilitation as opposed to penalties such as jail time. Nonetheless, it is important to know that as an Illinois parent, you could be held liable for injuries or losses caused by your child’s actions.
Possible Penalties for Retail Theft by a Minor
Under Illinois law, shoplifting is also referred to as retail theft or larceny. The crime of shoplifting involves taking an item from a store or retailer with the intent to deprive the owner of its full or partial value. This can mean the offender places the product in his or her pocket or backpack without paying for it. It can also include switching price tags to make an item scan at a lower cost.
Depending on the age and cooperation of the juvenile thief, the act of shoplifting may be handled in various ways. A store may or may not call the police or press charges. The child could get off with simply a warning. In most situations, the minor’s parents will be notified of the incident, and the retailer will likely prohibit the juvenile from entering the store again. Even if the authorities are called, a minor shoplifter who is taken to the police station may still only receive a warning if it is his or her first offense.