People often think of teen vandalism as innocent pranks or typical adolescent behavior. However, vandalism is a crime and can warrant felony charges.
If your teen faces criminal charges, it is crucial to understand the laws in your state to prepare an effective defense.
What are acts of vandalism?
Vandalism occurs when someone intentionally destroys or defaces another person’s property. Some activities that may result in criminal charges include:
- Ruining property with graffiti
- Breaking windows or car windshields
- Defacing street signs
- Carving your name into property
- Destroying school equipment
- Keying someone’s car
What are the penalties for juvenile vandalism?
The juvenile justice system decides the penalties when your teen faces a criminal accusation. In this system, the courts have a wide range of penalty options for vandalism offenses and analyze various factors to determine the sentence. Some possible punishments your child may face include:
- Fines paid to the court: These monetary damages vary widely depending on the circumstances of your case
- Restitution to the property owner: Courts often require a juvenile to pay the money necessary to replace or repair the vandalized property
- Juvenile diversion program: You may be able to get the prosecution to agree to drop the charges if your child completes a diversion program
- Probation period: This sentence typically lasts around 12 months and requires your teen to complete and maintain specific tasks
- Juvenile detention center: In more severe cases or those involving repeat offenders, courts may order a detention punishment
It is essential to know your defense options for challenging the prosecution’s evidence to avoid serious vandalism consequences charges that can affect your child’s future.