Juvenile Crimes

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Juvenile Crimes: An Overview

Follow the links below to learn about the most common juvenile crimes and their associated penalties.

  • Curfew Laws
    Curfew laws typically involve very light penalties, and a juvenile violating curfew may not be punished at all in some situations.
  • Incorrigibility
    Once a court determines that a juvenile is incorrigible, it can impose a range of sentences.
  • Juvenile Drug Possession
    Anytime a juvenile is charged with a drug possession violation, that juvenile faces some potentially serious consequences.
  • Juvenile Shoplifting Penalties
    Because the law does not consider juveniles to have the same ability to make choices as adults, the penalties for juvenile shoplifting are intended to teach and correct rather than punish
  • Juvenile Simple Assault
    Simple assault is usually a misdemeanor. Depending on the state, consequences for a juvenile charged with vary.
  • Juvenile Theft and Burglary
    Juvenile courts typically have much broader powers to determine a juvenile sentence. Because of this, individual dispositions for juvenile crimes can differ much more broadly than they would for adult convictions for the same offense.
  • Juvenile Vandalism
    With juvenile offenses, a court can order a range of penalties as punishment for a juvenile vandalism offense. The type of penalties a court imposes will differ significantly from case to case.
  • Juvenile Weapons Possession
    If a court determines that there is enough evidence to show the juvenile committed an offense, it will impose a sentence aimed primarily at rehabilitating the juvenile, instead of simply punishing the juvenile for the offense.
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
    State laws punish both the provider of the alcohol and the minor who has intentionally obtained it.
  • Runaway Teenagers
    The punishments for a runaway teenager usually rests on the parents or those harboring the teen.
  • Teen Sexting
    Because teen sexting can involve juvenile courts or adult courts, and cover various criminal laws, there is a wide range of potential penalties that may apply.
  • Truancy among Teens
    The court will issue the penalties it deems appropriate, and a teen who violates the court's orders may face additional penalties.
  • Underage DUI: Alcohol
    States have “Zero Tolerance Laws” that make it illegal for a minor to operate a car after drinking even a very small amount of alcohol, even when there is no evidence that the minor’s ability to drive was impaired.
  • Underage DUI: Drugs
    Some states have laws that make it illegal for people to drive while impaired for any reason, including legal drug use (use of a prescription medicine).

When Your Child Commits a Crime

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