Parental Responsibility for Juvenile Crime

West Palm Beach Juvenile Crime Attorney

For juveniles, committing crimes can obviously have negative consequences. A child’s delinquent behavior can also affect the child’s parents or guardians. In addition to the penalties imposed on the child, a court may impose various penalties on the child’s parents and may require them to cover the cost to the victim and certain expenses of the juvenile’s legal proceedings. If your child has committed an offense, call an attorney today to protect your child and understand how you can be affected.

Counsel

Children in Florida who are going through delinquency proceedings are entitled to representation in court. If parents can afford to do so, they should hire an attorney. If they do not, but are not indigent, the court may order them to hire private counsel, and there are legal consequences if they do not comply with the court order.

Parenting Education

If a child is adjudicated delinquent, adjudicated dependent, or found to be in need of services, the court may order his or her parents to attend an educational course in parenting skills. The court may also order the parents to attend counseling or receive parental assistance from a state agency.

Community Service

At a juvenile’s disposition, or sentencing, the court can order the parent, along with the child, to do community service. Additionally, if the parent did not make appropriate, good-faith efforts to keep the child from criminal behavior, the court may order him or her to complete community service.

Restitution

Restitution is a payment made by a criminal offender to his or her victims to repay them for the cost of the crime. In the event of a juvenile’s delinquency, the court may order his or her parents to pay restitution to compensate victims for any damage caused by the child’s delinquency. The parents may also be ordered to pay any restitution for which the child is responsible. The court may not order any amount that they could reasonably pay.

Counseling

The court may order family therapy and other counseling necessary for the child’s rehabilitation. It may also order counseling to help the parents learn to be supportive and to provide appropriate supervision and guidance for the juvenile.

Detention and Probation

If the child is put into detention or other placement with the Department of Juvenile Justice, his or her parents must pay a per-day commitment fee to reimburse the state for the costs of the child’s care, support, treatment, and detention. If the juvenile is put on probation, the parents must pay the probation fees. If the child is tried as an adult and entered in any of the DJJ’s programs for children, his or her parents must pay the associated fees.

Purpose

The reason that parents in Florida can be held responsible for a juvenile’s crimes is that parents have the main responsibility to control their children and raise them to become contributing members of society. These consequences are designed to punish parents for failing to prevent crime and encourage them to exercise more authority over their children in the future. Mandatory parental counseling and rehabilitative programs for both children and parents help parents to learn and implement better parenting skills.

A juvenile record can have serious effects on a young person’s life, so if your child has been charged with an offense, please call West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney William Wallshein at 563-533-1221 to schedule a free initial consultation.