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  #1  
Old 11-09-2015, 08:47 PM
NewTexGal NewTexGal is offline
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Default 17yo Texan caught shoplifting

Smh...

A friend of my son was caught shoplifting some playing cards (toys) worth less than $30 tonight.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the young man's first offense. He was issued a ticket and released.

He had plans to enter the marines in December. His mother has cancer and they live on her disability and $170/month in food stamps for the mother, the teenage sister, and this young man.

What can be done now to minimize the damage to his future and the finances of his family?

Thank you.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by NewTexGal View Post
Smh...

A friend of my son was caught shoplifting some playing cards (toys) worth less than $30 tonight.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the young man's first offense. He was issued a ticket and released.

He had plans to enter the marines in December. His mother has cancer and they live on her disability and $170/month in food stamps for the mother, the teenage sister, and this young man.

What can be done now to minimize the damage to his future and the finances of his family?

Thank you.
I am not sure anything can be done. He made the choice to shoplift, now he has to pay the consequences. I certainly hope he learned his lesson and does not shoplift again.

Hopefully, he will get some type of probation...community service. I do not know the laws where you are, but in Oregon, they usually get community service and pay fines and the store back they stole from.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:42 PM
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My daughter was caught shop lifting. This was in California, and she was quite a bit younger. She had to do some community service. We were told that as long as she didn't have any additional charges that her juvenile record would be sealed once she turned 18 and it wouldn't be an issue.

She is 27 now and to the best of my knowledge it has never come up again.

R. Mc.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:22 AM
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There will likely be an option for a deferred disposition. Theft in that amount is basically a catch-and-release ticket, not unlike a traffic ticket.

The other thing to watch out for, however, is the shakedown letter from an alleged law firm that is based in Florida that seeks an obscene shakedown figure citing civil statutes. Although they threaten suit, I am unaware of them actually filing in Texas. I've seen some have success in getting them to go away by responding to the first letter and basically denying their claim given that there was no finding of guilt that had been entered in the case...
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:15 AM
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CenTexLyn-

My 16yo son, and another 18yo young man were with him. All three of them maintain my son and the 18yo did not know what was going on and security camera footage supports their story.

My son had to call us from the security office to pick him up last night. Security (Asset Protection seems to the the new term), the store manager, and a police officer were all in the office with our son. The security officer explained the 17yo had removed the game cards from the packages and put them in his pockets. He had already reviewed the security footage which showed my son and the 18yo were clueless about what was going on until they were all detained.

Only the 17yo was issued a ticket, but all three were given a letter. The security employee explained he was required to give it to us by the store (Wal-Mart) even though our son was not an accessory. It reads:

"To Whom It May Concern,

The incident in which you were involved may have implications beyond criminal charges. In addition to criminal penalties, state statute allows retailers to recover civil damages/penalties as a result of such events.

A written notification explaining the civil rememdy that is being sought may be sent to you by the The Law Offices of Michael Ira Asen, P.C. or Law Offices of Palmer, Reifler, & Associates, P.A.. If you receive such a notification, please respond promptly as they act on behalf of Walmart.

Sincerely,

Asset Protection Recovery Walmart Stores, Inc."

What does this mean for our son and the 18yo???

I spoke with the the 17yo's mother. I told her about the ticket and possible letter from the civil attorneys. I told her we'd pay up to $300 on his ticket.

I know the 17yo made a terrible mistake, and he should feel consequences, but I'd rather him have the chance to serve our country honorably than spend time in detention because he's so broke he can't pay a ticket.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:58 PM
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Most likely...he shouldn't have a problem...that is a very minor offense.

I shoplifted when I was 21 years old (embarrassing but true), I was ticketed for Petty Theft, I got a Withheld Judgement, the Petty Theft was reduced to Willful Concealment and the case was dismissed after I served a year unsupervised probation and had to take an Anti Theft class, which again was embarrassing...but I deserved it. I did lawyer up though.

Just so you know, I graduated with a BA in Psychology and got my Masters in Social Work and am LMSW and work for the State currently as a Designated Examiner within the courts. I am sure that the 17yo will be fine wanting to go to the Marines, even if he can't lawyer up. It is usually the Felonies or extreme assault, DUI, etc that are restrictive.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2015, 06:47 PM
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When my nephew got caught shoplifting a phone case inside walmart in Georgia 2 months ago my mom told the supervisor i though walmart do not prosecute anything under $20.00 so they let him go an he had to pay walmart a fine $150.00 if not they would prosecute him to the fullest so she paid the fine an it's not on his record
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:33 PM
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Palmer Rifkin is the shakedown artist of choice with wally-world. It sounds like they got a basic trespass letter...when your kid gets the letter, send the pound sand letter. If there is not enough to charge him, there damned sure isn't anything to support paying the extortion.

As to the one charged, a deferred option will be out there at the first or second setting, especially if he shows up with his parents. It is NOT wise to pay the fine simply to be done with it. That leaves a conviction. A deferred disposition will dismiss the charge upon completion of the deferral term. This is doubly important in Texas if the kid gets stupid again with the shoplifting. Dollar amount DOES NOT MATTER for enhancements...third theft charge of ANY amount can automatically be charged as a State Jail Felony. I have actually had a client who then further got enhanced to the big-girl rodeo because of shoplifting for a fourth time (actually caught MORE than that but this was the fourth in THAT jurisdiction and they were tired of her antics) and NONE of her thefts had been over $50 in valuation.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2015, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
Palmer Rifkin is the shakedown artist of choice with wally-world. It sounds like they got a basic trespass letter...when your kid gets the letter, send the pound sand letter. If there is not enough to charge him, there damned sure isn't anything to support paying the extortion.

As to the one charged, a deferred option will be out there at the first or second setting, especially if he shows up with his parents. It is NOT wise to pay the fine simply to be done with it. That leaves a conviction. A deferred disposition will dismiss the charge upon completion of the deferral term. This is doubly important in Texas if the kid gets stupid again with the shoplifting. Dollar amount DOES NOT MATTER for enhancements...third theft charge of ANY amount can automatically be charged as a State Jail Felony. I have actually had a client who then further got enhanced to the big-girl rodeo because of shoplifting for a fourth time (actually caught MORE than that but this was the fourth in THAT jurisdiction and they were tired of her antics) and NONE of her thefts had been over $50 in valuation.
Your comments about the shake down artist made my husband laugh...thank you for that. I will be sure to share the information with the 18yo.

As for the 17yo, I found this short article:

http://blog.austindefense.com/2007/0...heft-in-texas/

It seems to agree with everything you said, but also talks about paying a fine as part of deferred disposition. That fine is different from just paying the ticket, right? So that is where my financial contribution should be used, right?

Assuming he receives deferred disposition, can you talk a little about getting a record expunged? Is that different that sealed? I know using the correct term is important... Is either advisable? When? How do you start? If he gets it expunged, what is he required to put on employment applications, enlistment papers, etc?

Should he complete deferred disposition before entering the marines? I think his sargent would like him to graduate high school first, but this young man is anxious for a "better" life, and wants to enter this December before graduation.

Any idea how this impacts his enlistment? Will the military overlook a deferred disposition?

I wish you understood how very deeply I appreciate the help you always give me in the forums. Thank you, thank you.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:10 PM
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I think his sargent would like him to graduate high school first, but this young man is anxious for a "better" life, and wants to enter this December before graduation.



Unless he is in such a bad situation that surviving another 7 months in his current situation is unlikely, he should graduate first, then enlist.

Getting out of whatever his current situation might help him in the short run, but not having that high school diploma will hurt him in the long run. It will probably hurt his ability to advance within the military, and it will certainly limit his career choices once he gets out of the military.

R. Mc.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:42 AM
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Below is a link that addresses military waivers for arrest and or convictions.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marin...minal.-um-.htm
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:40 PM
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Below is a link that addresses military waivers for arrest and or convictions.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marin...minal.-um-.htm
Chris, thank you very very much. I will pass on the information.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:45 PM
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Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond. You provided helpful and hopeful information.

I'm going to share what I learned with the 17yo and his mother after school lets out today.

I'll update this thread now and then so everyone knows what happened and others may benefit from what I've learned.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:53 PM
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Your comments about the shake down artist made my husband laugh...thank you for that. I will be sure to share the information with the 18yo.

As for the 17yo, I found this short article:

http://blog.austindefense.com/2007/0...heft-in-texas/

It seems to agree with everything you said, but also talks about paying a fine as part of deferred disposition. That fine is different from just paying the ticket, right? So that is where my financial contribution should be used, right?

Assuming he receives deferred disposition, can you talk a little about getting a record expunged? Is that different that sealed? I know using the correct term is important... Is either advisable? When? How do you start? If he gets it expunged, what is he required to put on employment applications, enlistment papers, etc?

Should he complete deferred disposition before entering the marines? I think his sargent would like him to graduate high school first, but this young man is anxious for a "better" life, and wants to enter this December before graduation.

Any idea how this impacts his enlistment? Will the military overlook a deferred disposition?

I wish you understood how very deeply I appreciate the help you always give me in the forums. Thank you, thank you.

There are multiple questions here that have answers that are very much dependent upon the individual. I cannot even begin to give guidance on the impact associated with the military...that would best be addressed through his recruiter.

Some deferred dispositions do include the payment of a fine. A deferred does not mean no consequence. It DOES get a dismissal upon completion of the terms set forth by the Court.

As to whether an expunction is warranted has much to do with whether there is a formal arrest. If it was a citation, then it is like a traffic ticket and would not show up on most background checks. If he had been booked, then there would be an entry in TCIC/NCIC that might justify the expense of seeking an expunction.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:50 AM
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Okay, thanks. I printed out this thread as part of the info I took to the 17yo and his mother yesterday.

His mom immediately began reading everything I brought. They understand about not paying the ticket, pleading not guilty, deferred disposition, and the civil demand letter that will be coming in the mail, etc. Of course, the 17yo hadn't shown his mom the letter about Palmer Rifkin, but now she knows and understands how it needs to be handled.

The info chris idoc shared on this thread about the military matched what the 17yo had learned on his own. So I think that is going to work out.

Since they never took him out of the store, I assume the 17yo was never arrested or booked (although they did a check of his records and gave him a ticket/citation). I guess the question of whether or not expungement is required can wait until after he successfully completes deferred disposition.

My son is inviting his friend to spend the night over here tonight. He says the 17yo needs a friend (but my kid enjoys having him around). I think they both could use a little fun.

Thank you again.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:38 PM
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The 17yo and his mother appeared in court Friday. The 17yo was given deferred adjudication and a $210 fine.

The young man told his sargent what had happened. The sargent made him wear an 80 pound belt while completing PT with the rest of the class. "Going into the marines" has been postponed until after June. Deferred adjudication will be finished and the young man will have his high school diploma. Win-Win!!!

Thank you to everyone for the help and encouragement. A special thank you to CenTexLyn and chris idoc. Both of you gave guidance that was right on the money and exactly what I needed.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:43 PM
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Good news and I hope it's been an eye opening, one time experience for the future Marine.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:15 PM
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Great news that he received a sentence that will allow him to join the military after all.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:10 PM
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Now we just need to watch for letters from Palmer Rifkin...

I would have been happy to pay for the cards that night (because the 17yo and his family couldn't), but Palmer Rifkin feels too much like blackmail, and I won't go for that.
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:33 PM
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Just thought I'd update everyone. The young man headed off to boot camp a few days ago. Don't know if he received a letter from the attorneys as CenTexLyn warned, but I printed out your advice and gave it to his mother.

My son hasn't received a letter, but store security considered him innocent.

Thank you for helping me to help someone else.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:54 AM
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Glad he is in boot camp
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Old 11-25-2016, 01:05 PM
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The young man survived boot camp and is now a marine. I'm so proud I played a small part in his success. (He lived with my family for about 5 months.)

He came home for Thanksgiving and is a different person in many ways. Extra polite, more confident, and very appreciative of his own mother (she was a much better mother than he thought, but I knew that), and even expressed appreciation for what I did for him.

Thanksgiving was going to be just the three of us. Me, my husband, and our 17yo son. About one hour before dinner, my son asked if three of his friends can come over to eat with us. What could I do? I pulled out another leaf for the table and added three more place settings. You should have seen those teenagers eating off fine china, drinking their water from stemmed glasses, and eating with sterling. They were a little uncomfortable, but in a good way and made it through dinner just fine.

One of the guests was the new marine, another a friend still in high school, and the third, well I think Thanksgiving at our house was his only special meal that day. The mother of the third young man was serving 10 years for fraud and drugs and just caught 12 more years. He and his father live with their grandmother and the father uses drugs himself. Our marine is trying to convince him to enlist because something needs to change is his life. The marine is right. Right now the third young man is headed in the wrong direction.
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Old 11-25-2016, 03:13 PM
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Thank you for letting us know how it turned out!
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:15 PM
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