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QLD Daughter Caught Shoplifting - Can I Ask Owner to Drop Charges?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Caring Dad, 16 March 2016.

  1. Caring Dad

    Caring Dad Member

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    My 17-year-old daughter was recently charged with shoplifting from a shop a set of $10 false nails a day after her 17 birthday - no excuses here at all and very remorseful. Dumb spur of the moment peer pressure event - 100%. We have invoked punishment at home accordingly. However, I feel the charge is excessive in view of the offence.

    My questions are:
    1. am I, as her father, allowed to approach the store owner directly, essentially to ask if they would drop the criminal law charge in lieu of a more relevant punishment? i.e, work for free cleaning, etc., community chores within the shopping centre, full and frank admission and apologies, etc. Old school as would have happened in my day. If they decline, then so be it.

    2. If they agree, is the charge then pursued by the police or is it effectively removed/discarded?


    Respectfully
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You can speak to the shopkeeper about the situation who might then speak to the police prosecutor about dropping the charges, but it's up to the police whether or not the charge is dropped.

    Big picture, though, it's a minor charge and if it's a first offence, your daughter will probably get a slap on the wrist and no conviction recorded. Just make sure you both get actual legal advice before acting - Legal Aid offers free consultations, so it would be worthwhile speaking to them.
     
  3. Caring Dad

    Caring Dad Member

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    Many thanks for your reply - I made a mistake, the actual charge noted on the QPS Notice to Appear form is "stealing" - which has me concerned. Should I be? The actual offence is the same - picked up $10 false nails and put into her hand bag before attempting to leave the shop with her friend.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    'Shoplifting' isn't actually a term referred to in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld). 'Stealing' is the correct term for the crime alleged according to the Code, so one is really just a synonym for the other.

    Should you be worried? I'm not saying "Nah, no worries, mate, she'll be right", because stealing is an offence under section 398 of the Code, and if she did steal something, then she did commit a crime and is liable to be punished for it. Nobody can ever predict the outcome in a hearing, either.

    But what I am saying is that the Court is likely to be lenient if it's a first offence. The court is probably not about to sunder the future career aspirations of a young 17-year-old girl who made a stupid decision to steal a $10 nail kit while showing off to her friends.

    I genuinely do ask that you get proper legal advice, though. I'm just a stranger on the internet, after all. :)
     
  5. Caring Dad

    Caring Dad Member

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    We absolutely will seek legal advice - no question. However I do appreciate your "comments" regarding my questions as I had no one else to ask. So thank you again stranger and best wishes from us both.
     
  6. Hope this helps

    Hope this helps Well-Known Member

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    We are all strangers here just sharing and helping hopefully. Of course you must seek legal advice.
    It would be a lesson to your daughter in taking not only responsibility for her actions but hearing the shop owner's point of view if your daughter herself went along with you and stated to the shop keeper how sorry she was and explained that it was a 'dare' or peer pressure scenario and state to the shopkeeper if there is any way she can correct her mistake.

    This is where you come into it by listening to the shopkeeper, make suggestions if they don't have any and speak to them regarding dropping the charges. If so, would they be kind enough to speak to the police prosecutor with you or as well.

    It is still up to the police prosecutor who would be more willing to drop it should this occur than not but they have the call. As appearances make a difference if your daughter has any face piercings and more than 2 earpiercings, have her take them out. Any tattoos, cover them up with makeup (foundation and concealer) or clothing. Have her hair clean and well groomed. Wear no makeup. Clothing to be conservative. Wear court shoes or clean runners. So she appears her young, fresh youth that she is when seeing the shopkeeper and police persector.

    Though it would be a good idea if you spoke yourself whilst your daughter is standing beside you. As for court, her appearance should be conservative, no make up and clean flat or court shoe to show her youth and no chewing gum at anytime. As stated appearances do come into account. I am not saying anything against tattoos, face or body piercings, etc. only helping just as I would suggest appropriate attire to a person applying for different job positions etc.

    Though in court, conservative dress is more acceptable but by no means compulsory. As allforher stated, if it is her first offence in getting into trouble with the law or police then the Judge may give her nothing else but a talking to, or they may give her minimum community service hours to give her a lesson which could be anything from doing 2 hours at a thiftshop to picking up papers in the park.
    But by all means, if you were to obtain legal representation your daughter will get a slap on the wrist.

    Seek legal advice as it is always good to have knowledge than none and your 17-year-old should also be apart and with you to experience procedures and consequences. Besides having your daughter apologise herself to the store keeper, attempting to make amends by working or doing something to make amends of her wrong doing will show the Judge also how remorseful and responsible, sensible your daughter really is.

    But as allforher stated: big picture if this is her first run in with police and court ( offence), no big deal. Your daughter's appearance and attitude will play a huge part in this as her character will be judged.
    No harm in old fashion communication and talking it over and sorting it out with the shop keeper and the police prosecutor.

    I hope it does stop there as your daughter would be worried and frightened. Going with you would be a good lesson for her.
     

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