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Juvenile Crimes and Punishments

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on September 7, 2023
Cooper and Friedman can help you resolve your juvenile delinquency case fairly.


Choosing whether or not to pursue action against someone who has wronged you can be a difficult decision in many situations. But what if it’s a minor or juvenile who wrongs you? You still suffer injury or property damage, but it can seem like a different world when it comes to suing minors, and maybe you’re not sure how this case will affect your future; they’re just a kid, right?

Even if we give the benefit of the doubt to some minors, there are still plenty of cases where the minor was conscious and aware of what they were doing and the consequences that would follow. It can be a difficult decision to make, but it is always helpful to know the facts before assuming that you’ll be sentencing a juvenile to a lifetime in prison because they stole a valuable item of yours, keyed your car, or threw a very loud party next door.

The Most Common Juvenile Crimes

While minors can be arrested and charged for a majority of adult crimes, the most common crimes that juveniles commit and are reported for are:

  • Theft
  • Simple Assault
  • Drug Abuse
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Curfew Violations

Data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention show a decline of caseloads in 2019 for property, drug, and public order offenses, which means that less of each type of report was made, but these 5 crimes remain the most common.

Juvenile Legal Punishments

In many cases, the minor may not be charged – it will be the parents for negligence. If the child is 7 years old or younger, they will not be charged at all. From 7-14 years old, a prosecutor must prove that the child committed the crime purposefully or had the ability to form a guilty mind and is decided on a case-by-case basis. Read more about the affect that age has on legal punishment in our blog, “Personal Injuries Involving Children Part 2: The Child as the Cause.”

Successful prosecution will end in one of two penalty options: incarceration or non-incarceration.

Incarcerations can include:

  • Home confinement or house arrest
  • Placement with someone other than a parent or guardian
  • Time in a juvenile hall or detention facility (short-term stays)
  • Probation after time in a juvenile hall
  • Secured juvenile facilities (long-term stays)
  • Adult jail
  • Blended sentence (juvenile and adult jail)

Non-Incarceration Options:

  • Verbal warning
  • Fine
  • Counseling
  • Community service
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Probation

Out of these options, probation counts for about half of all minors’ judgment penalties. In the case of probation, the minor won’t be incarcerated, but will have limited freedom and activities as well as additional required programs, education, or community service activities. This way, the minor can continue to live outside of incarceration but the law will have a hand in their activities to help correct the behavior and ensure it won’t happen again.

Cooper and Friedman Have Your Back

If you or someone you love has been the victim of personal injury or other infractions of minors in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced injury attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of injury victims. Contact us with questions you might have or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

Posted Under: Child Injury Lawyer, Personal Injury

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