Are You Liable if Your Child Commits a Crime

Joliet juvenile attorneyLong gone are the days when harmful and even illegal actions by underaged individuals would be dismissed as “boys will be boys” or some other equally cliched justification. In addition to the juvenile court system, some states are passing laws that apply penalties to parents for the actions of their children.

New York Law Targets Parents of Bullies

Recently, the city of North Tonawanda, NY, gained attention by adding bullying, harassment, and underage drinking to a law under which parents could be held liable for the actions of their children. The new law was proposed by a community coalition of parents and received support from local law enforcement and school officials.

The new law was modeled after a similar one adopted by a few Wisconsin towns. Advocates insisted the new law was needed in part because even when offenders are adjudicated delinquent, seldom are the consequences that enact change in their behavior. This law requires parents who might have previously preferred to turn a blind eye to their children’s behavior to take more responsibility in re-shaping that behavior. Parents there could receive up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.

Illinois Law Addressing Actions of Minors

Currently, Illinois has laws on the books that hold parents responsible for the actions of their minor children. The Parental Responsibility Law states that the parent(s) or guardian of an unemancipated minor can be held liable for damages caused by the wilful acts of the minor when those actions cause injury to another person or property. While the penalties under this Illinois law do not include parental incarceration, it is important to remember that the illegal acts of underaged individuals can have legal ramifications that extend beyond their own freedom and can affect other family members.

Retain the Counsel of an Experienced Will County Defense Attorney

When an underaged family member faces criminal charges, the effects can impact every other member of their household. In some cases, the actions of a juvenile can result in legal action against their parents. Regardless of the situation, it is important to retain experienced legal counsel. The guidance and advice of a knowledgeable Illinois criminal and juvenile defense attorney will ensure that your rights and those of your family members are protected throughout the legal process. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba provides a thorough review of your case while building an aggressive defense strategy. Contact our offices today at 815-740-4025 for an initial consultation.

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26 East Clinton Street Joliet, IL 60432