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Understand what a status offense is in juvenile court

Status offenses aren't as a serious as other offenses in the juvenile justice system, but this doesn't mean that you can ignore them. Instead, you need to learn about these offenses so that you can decide what to do about them if your child is facing one.

As a parent, you are probably worried about your child's future. You certainly don't want to think about your child ruining his or her life before it really gets started. This is why it is so troubling when you learn that your child is involved with the juvenile justice system.

A status offense is something that the child can get into trouble for that an adult wouldn't. For example, a child can face a status offense for staying out too late, but an adult can't face criminal charges for being out late. A juvenile might face a status offense for skipping school, but an adult wouldn't face a criminal charge for skipping work.

Incarceration might be off the table. Your child might not be facing incarceration. Instead, he or she might be ordered to use services provided by the court. This might include reporting to a probation officer. It is imperative that you understand what your child is supposed to be doing so that you can try to help him or her to comply with the orders.

When you learn that your child is facing any interaction in the juvenile justice system, you need to ensure that his or her rights are being upheld. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney who will stand by the child's side can help.

Source: FindLaw, "Juveniles and Age ("Status") Offenses," accessed April 27, 2017

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

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