Juveniles, like adults, are held responsible for the crimes that they commit. However, unlike adults, juvenile crimes vary slightly and have different punishments associated with them. A few examples of juvenile crimes and their general penalties are listed below.
- Alcohol & Drug Possession – A juvenile is guilty of alcohol possession when they possess, purchase, attempt to purchase, use a fake ID, or ask another person to purchase alcohol. They are guilty of drug possession if they knowingly possess a controlled or illegal substance without legal justification. Drug and alcohol counseling, probation, diversion, or juvenile detention are some of the penalties associated with alcohol and drug possession.
- Curfew Laws – Curfew laws prevent juveniles from being outside at night or between specified hours. The typical penalties include verbal or written warnings, fines, community service or even jail for repeat offenders.
- Incorrigibility – A child is deemed incorrigible when they habitually disobey rules and guidelines set by the child’s parents, guardians or legal custodians. Penalties can include fines, probation, counseling, community service or juvenile detention.
- Sexting – Sexting is the transfer of suggestive or nude pictures sent to another person through texting or email. Penalties include verbal or written warnings, fines, community service, counseling, probation, or juvenile detention.
- Shoplifting Penalties – Shoplifting is grand theft or petty theft from a store or retail establishment. Shoplifting penalties for juveniles are the same as adults, with possible punishments including restitution to pay the damages, probation, diversion, counseling, or confinement in a boot-camp program or juvenile detention.
- Simple Assault – For juveniles, simple assault includes injuring, threatening, or attempting to injure another person. Penalties include jail time, community service, probation, repayment of medical bills or lost wages, anger management classes, and fines.
- Theft & Burglary – Theft and burglary include larceny, embezzlement, false pretense, or entering a structure with the intent to commit a burglary. The possible penalties include fines, repayment of property damage and theft, counseling, probation, or juvenile detention.
- Truancy – For teens, truancy is not attending school on a regular basis as defined by the state policy. Typically, a juvenile is considered truant if they miss more than 10 full days in a school year. Penalties include additional school, counseling, probation, detention or parent and guardian penalties.
- Underage DUI – An underage DUI is when a juvenile operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some penalties include license suspension, drug or alcohol treatment programs, driving safety classes, community service, fines, juvenile detention or even jail time. For alcohol DUIs, an ignition lock can be installed to prevent operation of the vehicle without passing a Breathalyzer test.
- Vandalism – Vandalism is the act of intentionally damaging someone else’s property. Possible punishments include repayment of damage, fines, probation, diversion, or juvenile detention.
- Weapons Possession – Juveniles can be charged with illegally possessing a weapon, just like adults. Crimes for juvenile weapons possession can be more serious, including written or verbal warnings, community service, diversion, probation, juvenile detention, or even adult charges.
Even though juveniles are under the age 18, they still have basic constitutional rights that must be upheld when prosecuted for a juvenile crime. All juveniles have the right to legal representation and should not talk to the police without a parent and an attorney present. If your child or a juvenile that you know has been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to call the lawyers at Durrett & Kersting Law, PLLC. Our lawyers are committed to providing legal counsel to juveniles in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas.