Parents – When Your Kids Commit Crimes, You are On the Hook! Know Your Parental Rights and Responsibilities When it Comes to Juvenile Delinquency
Parents are legally responsible for their children until they are 18 years old. This means that when children commit crimes, parents are responsible for paying for those crimes. Any costs associated with restitution, incarceration or legal fees will ultimately be your responsibility, which is why it’s important to understand your parental rights and responsibilities as they apply to juvenile delinquency so that you can help steer your child in the right direction.
Even if your child uses the services of the public defender, that office does charge some fees. Similarly, if your child must serve time in a juvenile camp or detention facility, you will be responsible for repaying the state for all food, clothing and any medical services that your child received while in custody. And if the judge orders your child to pay restitution to a victim, you are on the hook for doing so.
Now all that said, there are some caveats. First, if the child has his/her own money, you can certainly make him/her pay for these costs. Second, the judge will consider your family’s ability to pay before issuing a blanket order for you to do so. Part of that consideration will include your income, how many dependants are in the home, etc.
Knowing your parental rights and responsibilities as they apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings is important, since you and your child are both financially liable for any crimes that he/she commits.