It is impossible to control a child’s actions when adult supervision is not present. Unfortunately, some juveniles make poor choices that can impact their entire family emotionally, legally, and financially. Once they have committed any number of juvenile misdemeanors, they have not only violated your trust, but they have also broken the law. The justice system in Indiana is designed to rehabilitate youth offenders and motivate them to make better choices in the future.
With skilled criminal legal representation and an understanding of the juvenile justice system in Indiana, your child can move past an offense and move toward a positive future. Knowing more about the crimes commonly committed by teens and how the juvenile system works can help answer your questions and take the right steps to move forward.
Common Juvenile Crimes
Juveniles who commit crimes in Indiana undergo a separate criminal process than adult offenders. The Indiana Juvenile Court System oversees sentencing for juvenile offenders, focusing on rehabilitation and treatment instead of punishment. Criminal penalties for minors often differ greatly from penalties for adults.
Assault can be defined as pushing, shoving or any other unwanted physical provocation. There are two types of assault in Indiana: simple assault and aggravated depending on the circumstances. Violations of school employees and crimes involving deadly weaponry carry severe penalties.
If your child violates the curfew, make sure you know it and force your child to comply. Parents can be held accountable in most towns if their children are allowed to leave after curfew.
Disorderly conduct can include a variety of behavior, including offensive language and arguments or fights. This type of offense is usually committed by children who meet in large groups and often involves alcohol.
Drug Possession and Sale
The sale or possession of illegal drugs is a serious crime in Indiana, regardless of the offender’s age. Drugs such as:
- Prescription pills
One of the most serious crimes that juveniles commit is theft. This can be anything, from shoplifting food from a convenience store to steal a neighbor’s vehicle for a ride. The value of the property stolen and previous convictions are both factors that affect the severity of penalties. Items worth more than 100 dollars are eligible for detention.
For juvenile traffic violations, penalties can include severe fines as well as license revocation or suspension. Your child should remember that driving is a privilege and can be taken away if they drive without a license, while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Teens are known for speeding, texting while driving, and driving with too many people, or reckless driving.
Teens and tweens may not be aware that graffiti on walls or damaging equipment in public parks is more than mischief. It’s a crime. The type and extent of damage caused to property by deliberate destruction is a factor in the severity of penalties and fines.
Certain activities at school can be considered criminal. School administrators will work closely with local law enforcement officers to ensure that proper protocols are observed in these cases. Juvenile students might not be allowed to return to school, depending on the nature and severity of the offense.
Indiana Juvenile Misdemeanors
According to the Indiana Juvenile Justice System (IJJS), there are more than 100 juvenile offenders currently in Indiana who are either on probation or in custody. They are from all parts of the state and come from all walks of life. It is possible in Indiana to get a juvenile record expunged. Just speak with a Marion County expungement attorney.
Punishment for Juvenile Misdemeanors
Minors younger than 18 years old can commit juvenile misdemeanors. These crimes are more serious than felonies but less severe than minor infractions. Common juvenile misdemeanors include shoplifting and vandalism. Misdemeanors may result in fines or time in juvenile jail. First-time offenders might be eligible for a reduced penalty, such as community service and house arrest.