Sometimes, children can be reckless and immature. Usually when your child is immature it is a minor infraction, however, every now and then children act recklessly which results in criminal penalties. What many parents may not realize is that you can be criminally liable for certain actions done by your child. This article will go over some of those risks and how they may affect you.
With the advent of the Internet, criminal behavior is easier than ever. Downloading music, movies, books and more products is disturbingly easy. So easy in fact, that can children engage in this behavior without appreciating the criminality of their actions. If your child is charged with one of these crimes then you may also face criminal penalties. Additionally, if your child takes and sends sexually explicit photos through a phone then they and you could face federal and state charges for child pornography.
Another common way parents can be held criminally liable is if a child gains access to a firearm. Most states require that parents lock up their weapons in either: boxes, gun safes, unloaded and without ammunition or a combination of all three. If a child gains access to a firearm then you could face criminal penalties however, some states do provide exceptions if the child used the weapon in self-defense or the child gained access via illegal means.
Finally, parents can face general criminal penalties if their child breaks the law. Some states require parents to reimburse the government for court costs and/or living and treatment costs if they are held in a detention facility. Typically this means that parents will be levied fines or fees. Furthermore, a few states require parents to attend all hearings in which their child is present.
The general rule is that parents are not liable for the actions of their children. But, as you can see, there are exceptions to the rule. If your child is charged with one of these crimes then you may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Be proactive in your child’s defense can help protect his or her rights and future.