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Criminal Law/11 year old shoplifting

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Question
My 11 year old daughter got caught shoplifting with one of her friends. The amount was under $15 do I need an attorney? This was her first and only time, what would the fine be?
She has excellent grades in school. We live in Texas and her court date is July 29th.

Answer
Richard,

I have no way of knowing what the outcome of any particular
case.  I would need a crystal ball to do that.

On the subject of having an attorney I always
tell people that they need an attorney anytime
where a conviction will give the defendant a
criminal record and/or carry a jail sentence.

Now of course your daughter is not going to jail
and it is possible that the case won't ever see
a courtroom.  There are a hundred possibilities
and it depends on how the system works in
your county

What I would do is to call the Juvenile Court
(Or whatever it is called in your state) and ask
them what happens from here on (I can't imagine
that the police officer didn't explain it.

They may tell you a variety of things.  If one one
of them is that she is going to court then I
would say you need an attorney.

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Jack Toomey

Expertise

If you are an author asking for help I will gladly assist you. I do expect a reasonable donation using the Paypal feature. Please do NOT ask questions about potential jail sentences that you or your friends may receive in court. court. There is no way for me to know that. Only a judge could answer a question like that. I am also NOT a probation officer or parole officer so I cannot answer questions that relate to parole or probation. Also please keep in mind that every state has different laws. If you are planning to ask a question about a specific law or criminal charge that pertains to your state only it could be difficult to answer. I also cannot give you legal advice on what to do or what not to do in court. Retired police officer with 26 years experience. Worked in the patrol division as well as over 14 years in the detective bureau. Investigated a wide range of crime such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, fraud, missing persons, and other very sensitive crimes. I am available to answer your questions about criminal law and especially as it applies to police work. I taught at the police academy for several years and am especially knowledgeable about search and seizure. Any question about criminal law is welcome! Please don't ask me to do your homework or ask me questions that obviously come from your teachers or professors. I also do not do online interviews or surveys. Young people need to gain face to face interviewing skills. Local police officers usually are very agreeable to assist in these assignments.

Experience

I am a retired police officer with 26 years experience. I investigated almost every type of crime including murder, rape, theft, missing persons, fraud, and domestic abuse. I am very knowledgeable about search and seizure and taught at the police academy for several years on a variety of subjects. I can answer questions that a lot of attorneys cannot since they do not have "street experience".

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science degree in Criminolgy from the University of Maryland.

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