8 Crimes That Can Send a Minor to Juvenile Hall

Adolescent boy wearing a hoodie stands behind chain-link fencing

Minor crimes are criminal offenses committed by those who are under 21 years old. Most of the time when juvenile offenses occur, one of the following will happen:

  • Officers issue a warning and then let the child free,
  • Officers hold the child until a parent comes to get them, or
  • Officers forward the issue to a juvenile court.

Some crimes are treated in the same ways as adult offenders and others are based on their age or other factors. Below, we’ve listed eight of the most common crimes that can send a minor to juvenile hall:

#1 - Juvenile Theft

Theft, also known as larceny, is one of the most common crimes minors commit. It occurs when they steal from other people or stores. The child may get away with it for a while without suffering any consequences, but the adolescent may decide to start stealing higher value items if he or she is not faced with consequences for the petty theft.

#2 - Juvenile Drug Possession

Sometimes, young people are targeted by gangs so that they can be used as drug distributors who transfer illegal substances back and forth between different locations. Other times, a child may be influenced by various media outlets or their peers to try drugs and can end up being arrested for possession.

#3 - Juvenile Weapon Possession

It is against Alabama state laws (§13A-11-57 and §13A-11-76) to sell, give, deliver, or lend any pistol or bowie knife (or any other similar type of knife) to anyone under the age of 18. If a minor is caught carrying an illegal weapon, he or she may be charged as an adult since criminal statutes apply to both children and adults.

#4 - Child Alcohol Possession

A minor can be arrested for alcohol possession as well as drunk and disorderly conduct. Alcohol possession is an example of a crime that hinges solely on the child’s age. Adults over the age of 21 are not considered to commit a crime simply for possessing alcohol.

#5 - Underage DUI

It is relatively common for juveniles to be involved in alcohol-related car accidents or be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. In Alabama, minors under the age of 21 may not operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% or more.

#6 - Assault

Teenagers are more likely to get into fights and take unnecessary risks than adults. If the fight occurs at school, the minor may be referred to a resource officer rather than hauled directly to juvenile hall.

It’s also possible that a juvenile could assault people as part of other crimes, like stealing or purse snatching. Some minors are bullies at school and may act physically violent while emotionally abusing or taunting their peers.

Children who are involved in the juvenile justice system may take issue with authority figures, which can lead to a dispute with an adult.

#7 - Sex Offenses

Some teens don’t understand the implications of sexting (sending and/or receiving sexually explicit text messages). Possessing risqué images of minors is against the law, and a juvenile may be prosecuted with possession of child pornography.

#8 - Vandalism

Teenagers often have a lot of free time on their hands, which may tempt them to commit crimes of vandalism. These crimes may be committed alone or with others. One of the most common forms of vandalism is painting, writing, or drawing graffiti on buildings, homes, or other property.

If your child has been charged with a crime, it is critical that you reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. Your child’s freedom and future are not to be left to chance.

Call Revill Law Firm today at (205) 928-6544 to speak with an accomplished Birmingham attorney about your case.

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