My 18 yr old son was with a friend that stole 3 items under $50 total from Walmart. His friend dropped a paper insert from inside the packaging and told my son to pick it up. He put it in his pocket.Once they were outside the store they were stopped by the Walmart officials. They were both charged with shoplifting, even though my son had no stolen item on him other then the paper insert. They both were required to pay Walmart on the spot, $50. The police were called and a citation was written for both of them. The boys were cooperative through all of this. My son did not sign anything for Walmart or the police, but he has a court day coming up in a couple of weeks. My son has promised me that if they have video of this it will show he did not steal anything, only picked up the paper.
Yes, he will absolutely need a lawyer to analyze the discovery, see what evidence exists, view any videos (if they exist) and try to protect his record and his future.
A theft charge of any level is very serious because it carries with it a very negative stigma. So, if your son were convicted and then tried to get a job, the conviction would appear on his record and he would have to continually explain it. Not a good situation for a very young man.
There are options that can keep a conviction off of your son’s record. There are also many different defense strategies for each case since no 2 cases are alike. I’d be happy to discuss the matter in more detail with you tomorrow. Please feel free to call me.