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Contributing to Child Delinquency Lawyers

Contributing to Child Delinquency Lawyers: An In-Depth Look

What Are the Penalties for This Crime?

The specific penalties for contributing to the delinquency of a minor vary based on the state and circumstances of the offense. However, it’s generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor and carries penalties such as:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Probation or community service
  • Mandatory counseling or education programs

In particularly serious cases involving very young children or dangerous crimes, contributing to delinquency may be charged as a felony. This can mean years in prison and much steeper fines.

As with any criminal charge, a conviction will also leave you with a permanent criminal record. This can impact future employment, housing, and other opportunities.

What Are Some Common Defenses?

Skilled criminal defense attorneys have several strategies they may use to fight charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor:

Lack of Intent

In most states, you must have knowingly and intentionally encouraged or assisted in the child’s behavior to be convicted. Your lawyer may argue you had no intention of contributing to delinquency. For example, if a child secretly took drugs from your purse without your knowledge. [1]

You Made Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Delinquency

It’s not enough to just claim you didn’t intend for the child to break the law. You must also demonstrate you took reasonable steps to discourage the behavior. For example, having clear rules and consequences related to drug use in your home. [2]

The Child Was Not a “Minor”

In most states, the legal definition of a minor is someone under the age of 18. If the individual was 18 or older at the time, contributing to delinquency laws would not apply. [3]

You Were Unaware the Child Was Underage

Prosecutors must prove you knew the individual was under 18. If you can show you reasonably believed them to be older, this may invalidate the charges.

The Child’s Behavior Does Not Meet the Definition of “Delinquency”

Your attorney may argue the acts in question don’t qualify as delinquent behavior under the law. For example, letting your 17-year-old stay up an hour past curfew would not constitute criminal conduct. [4]

As you can see, an experienced criminal defense lawyer has many avenues to explore when fighting contributing to delinquency allegations. Don’t let fear or shame prevent you from exercising your rights.

What Should You Do if Facing Charges?

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for contributing to child delinquency, remain silent and immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. They can guide you through the process and develop the strongest defense strategy for your unique situation. Consider contacting defense lawyers who specialize in juvenile crimes and have experience fighting these types of allegations.

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