I would like to know what is the risk if someone gets caught stealing a cheap item worth $1, such as an apple juice from a supermarket.
I assume that you committed the crime in nevada. Under NRS 205.240, this is a misdemeanor, petty larceny, the maximum penalty for which is not more than 6 months in prison and a fine of not more than $1,000, plus restitution. 8 USC 1227 makes certain crimes deportable offenses, but shoplifting isn't one of them. In France, under Art. 311-3 of the Code pénal the maximum penalty is 3 years and €45,000 fine. The "risk" is harder to calculate, if you mean "the most likely penalty". There is a substantial chance that the maximum penalty will be getting yelled at by the store manager, and even if you are arrested by the police there is a good chance that the matter (as a first offense, right? no aggravating circumstances) will not result in a trial because you will have the opportunity to "negotiate" the matter to probation, to avoid a trial. Rumor is that Walmart is aggressive in its anti-shoplifting policy.
Bad Idea ...
- The shopkeeper (or security employed by the shopkeeper) might not notice if you are clever, or they do notice. Don't bet on being more clever than professional security, it is their job to catch shoplifters. They do it all day.
- The shopkeeper or security guard might yell and come after you, and perhaps you manage to run away. But perhaps not. Again, it is the job of securty to catch shoplifters. They know the layout of the shop and the shortcuts.
- When you are caught, the shopkeeper will demand to see your receipt. It could all be a misunderstanding, after all. But if you don't have a receipt, they will think you are a thief.
- Then they can call the police. The police will usually come when they are called, no matter how low the value was, and record your ID and statements to the case. They could arrest you, or not.
- As user6726 pointed out, there is a good chance that the case will not go to trial, unless there are multiple prior arrests. But you might spend an afternoon being detained by the police while they sort that out and check your ID and record.