Not having enough information on his specific case I can’t give a direct answer. Also, being I am not a lawyer, I can’t give legal advice. I can guide you in the right direction.
The short answer; if your son is a first time offender and was charged with a misdemeanor he will probably get a diversion program like the Reality Check Program.
Let’s take a minute and get to the root cause of what happened. Why did your son shoplift? That is what I would be asking. Teens and young adults do stupid things. Sometimes it is an impulse decision. What he did doesn’t make him a bad person. He made a bad choice. Let’s get him back on track.
The Reality Check Program DVD has four parts, My Life, What Prison is Really Like, What you will Lose and Avoiding and Dissolving Bad Associations. The viewer sees and hears things from a man who had everything and then lost everything. That is powerful.
It is also coming from a man who doesn’t lecture young people. I am not their Mom, Dad, a Police Officer, Counselor or someone who hasn’t been where they are headed. I experienced things that will open their eyes. That is the difference.
Good luck with your son and keep us posted.