The state of California recognizes two types of juvenile crime: status offenses and delinquent acts.
Going over what these two types of juvenile crime mean and can lead to while speaking with a California juvenile defense lawyer at the Law Office of Katie Walsh will allow you to obtain the best possible legal outcome.
What Is A Status Offense?
A status offense is an act that is not usually considered a crime. But, if this act is committed by someone who is considered a minor, then it becomes a crime.
Or, more specifically, it becomes a “status offense,” which serves as a legal violation that can lead to legal consequences.
Some of the most notable and common status offenses are as follows:
- Drinking alcohol while under the age of 21.
- Skipping school.
- Running away from home.
Every single one of the above is considered a status offense.
If a juvenile is found guilty of a status offense, then they can end up in some form of legal trouble. But, this legal trouble is unlikely to be significant, although speaking with a lawyer is always wise.
What Is A Delinquent Act?
A delinquent act is a criminal act that would still be a crime if the one who committed it was not a minor.
Just as an example of the above, if a juvenile beats up another person, then that is considered assault. Assault is a crime regardless of the individual’s age, meaning that it can, and always will, lead to criminal charges.
Even though the above is true, the juvenile justice system prioritizes rehabilitation. Given this fact, a juvenile who is charged with a juvenile act will likely face a less significant sentence than if they committed this crime as an adult.
On the other hand, if a juvenile commits an especially serious crime – murder, for example – then they can, and likely will, be charged as an adult and receive a sentence that an adult would receive.
What Are The Consequences Of Being Charged For A Delinquent Act?
- Going through a diversionary program.
- A citation.
- Community service.
A wide variety of different consequences can be levied on a juvenile who is charged with a delinquent act. Some of the most notable of these consequences are as follows:
None of these consequences are guaranteed. But they are common, meaning that it is always within the realm of possibility that your child if charged with a delinquent act, will receive at least one of these consequences.
To ensure that they do not receive these consequences – or, on the other hand, that they receive lesser consequences that do not actively affect their life to the same degree – it is very important that your child works with a lawyer.
Speak With An Orange County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If your child is being charged with a delinquent act, then they need a lawyer. Speak with an Orange County juvenile criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Katie Walsh today to ensure that your child obtains the defense that they need.