Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
As your Nashville criminal defense lawyer will inform you, an adult who contributes to the delinquency of a minor can be charged with a crime. If you have been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, it is highly recommended that you contact your Nashville criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your criminal case. The following is information regarding an adult who has been caught contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If you have any further questions, your Nashville criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide further assistance to you.
What Is Considered to Be Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?
Your Nashville criminal defense lawyer will tell you that contributing to the delinquency of a minor is when an adult either helps or talks a minor into doing something that is considered to be delinquent. The act would be considered to be an act of Juvenile delinquency. A minor is considered to be anyone under the age of majority, which is typically 18-years-old. An adult is considered to be anyone over the age of 18, in most states. An example of an adult contributing to a minor would be if an adult provided a minor with alcohol. Since a minor is not allowed to possess alcohol, the act of possessing it is consider to be one of juvenile delinquency. The adult who provided the alcohol may be charged with a crime for giving it to a minor. Juvenile delinquent acts are not just related to the possession of alcohol. The laws may vary from state to state; however a delinquent act is frequently a criminal act as well. Check with your Nashville criminal defense attorney if you have questions about other acts that could be considered delinquency of a minor in your state.
Being Charged with a Crime
Depending on the act that was committed and how much you contributed to that act, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony for your role in contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In most states, it is likely that you would be charged with a misdemeanor if you provided alcohol to underage teens. However, this act could turn into a felony depending on the circumstances. In order to be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, there are typically one of these elements present:
- An adult has committed an act or failed to prevent an act of juvenile delinquency
- This act, or failure to prevent this act, has caused the minor to become a delinquent, a dependent of the court, or a minor who habitually commits delinquent acts
Varying Laws from State-to-State
The laws of contributing to the delinquency of a minor can vary depending on what state you are in. In some states the law clearly states that only an adult who has custodial rights to the minor can be charged with contributing to their delinquency. However, other adults could still be prosecuted for their involvement. In some states, it is not even necessary to do the act in order to be charged with the crime. The intent to commit the act is enough for some states to prosecute an adult for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Contact your Nashville criminal defense attorney to find out what the laws are in your state.
Exceptions to the Law
As your Nashville criminal defense attorney will tell you, there are some exceptions to the law when it comes to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. There are 40 states where there can be exceptions to the law when providing alcohol to a minor. While there are exceptions to contributing to this delinquent act, the exceptions are strictly defined and enforced. The following are the narrow exceptions that may be used as a valid defense if an adult was caught providing alcohol to an underage person:
- If the minor is at a private home and the parents have consented to the minor consuming alcohol. An example would be an underage person having a glass of wine at dinner.
- If the minor is at a private home but consumes the alcohol without the parent’s consent. For example, if the minor took some alcohol to drink when they were home alone.
- If the minor is consuming alcohol for religious purposes.
- If the minor is taking a medication that contains alcohol.
- If the minor is working undercover for a government agency or research for governmental purposes.
- If the minor is using the alcohol in an educational setting. For example, adding alcohol to a dish while learning to cook in class.
While these are exceptions to the law of contributing alcohol to a minor, keep in mind that these exceptions are valid defenses in certain states. The law in every state does not follow these exceptions, or is required to. Before contributing to the delinquency of a minor and providing alcohol to them, it is recommended that you know what the valid exceptions are in your state.
Contact a Nashville Criminal Defense Attorney
Contact your Nashville criminal defense lawyer today for an experienced professional to help with your case. Horst Law‘s Nashville criminal defense lawyer will help you fight for your rights during your case. Call (615) 403-2971. Brent Horst is an experienced trial attorney who will become your advocate through your case and get you the best results possible.