What are consequences for minor daughter arrested for petty theft?

Jimmy (Guest) on Friday, September 07 2012, 03:36 PM
What are the consequences for petty theft in MA for my teenage daughter (under 18 years old)? It is her first time getting in trouble. Some girls had dared her to steal from a store in Tewksbury and challenged her to see how much she could steal. She was arrested for merchandise totaling $200.
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    Replied by Attorney Eric Schutzbank on Friday, September 07 2012, 03:56 PM · Hide · #1
    It depends on how old your daughter is. If she is under age 17, she will be charged in the Juvenile Court. If she is 17, she will be charged as an adult in Lowell District Court. There are a wide range of possible consequences. Under the facts as you present them, it is likely that she would be looking at a dismissal upon payment of Court costs and any restitution. She could also receive pretrial probation (which is when a Defendant is placed on probation without any type of admission in Court and the case is subsequently dismissed if she complies with the terms of probation) or receive what is called a Continuance without a Finding in which she admits to sufficient facts to find her guilty but is not found guilty. If she complies with any probationary terms for the continuance period, the case is dismissed. Massachusetts law allows for more significant penalties such as a conviction or incarceration but those are extremely unlikely for a first offense for someone with no criminal record.
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