We all remember the high school days — some with more fondness than others. But one thing that is almost universal is the tremendous force of peer pressure that causes teens to engage in acts and behaviors they might likely otherwise avoid.
Along with drinking alcohol and trying drugs, your teen could be encouraged or dared by friends to swipe some merchandise on their next trip to the mall.
Understanding the power of peer pressure
One study conducted at Columbia University determined shoplifting “was more prevalent among people with higher education and income.” This is one example of how a teen can be led by friends to shoplift when she has no economic need to do so.
Your teen’s shoplifting can involve you
Under Arizona’s shoplifting laws there is a clause stating:
“If a minor engages in conduct that violates subsection A of this section, notwithstanding the fact that the minor may not be held responsible because of the person’s minority, any merchant who is injured by the shoplifting of the minor may bring a civil action against the parent or legal guardian of the minor under either section 12-661 or 12-692.”
What that means in plain language is that your teenager’s shoplifting could cost you big bucks in a civil settlement with the store owner.
What you can do if your teen is charged
If your teen is arrested for shoplifting, here is your teaching moment. Find out what is at the root of the behavior so it can be avoided. But your child shouldn’t have a criminal record trailing behind them as a result. Make sure that they are fairly represented in court by someone who can present a robust defense to the shoplifting charges.