Can You Face Criminal Charges For Your Child's Behavior?

Law Blog

When a minor commits a destructive act, such as damaging property, the victim can take the parents to civil court and possibly receive an award to settle the case. In criminal cases, parents are not always held responsible for their children's actions. However, there are some instances in which the court might decide the parent should share some of the responsibility. If you are worried about facing criminal charges because of your child's actions, here is what you need to know.

What Charges Could You Face?

There are several charges that are used to hold parents responsible for their children's actions in criminal cases. One of the most commonly cited is contributing to the delinquency of a minor. With this charge, the court could claim that failing to actively parent your child led to his or her criminal behavior.

For instance, if your child frequently skipped school and you failed to act to ensure that he or she was present, you could face a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Depending on the city and county in which you live, you could potentially face fines or jail time.

Some charges are aimed at specific details of a crime. For instance, if your child took your gun to school and used it to assault another student, you could be charged with failing to secure the firearm and the ammunition.

What Can You Do?

If you are formally charged with a crime that is related to your child's behavior, you will need to establish why you should not be held responsible for his or her behavior. In many instances, it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charge dropped or reduced. How you approach the charge depends on the facts of the case.

For instance, if you are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because your child did not go to school each day, you could argue that you did take the child to school daily and sought help from the district in attempting to keep him or her there throughout the day. If the child was receiving psychiatric care for an emotional or mental problem that caused him or her to skip school, you could provide a statement from the doctor.

The best way to handle a charge that is related to the parenting of your child is to talk to a criminal defense attorney at firms like Abom & Kutulakis LLP. He or she can review the facts with you and decide how to fight the charge. 


21 August 2017