What kinds of offenses
can juveniles be charged with?
Certain kinds of offenses are unique to juveniles. In other words, some behavior, like drinking, is an offense only because of your age. Other offenses, such as assault and theft, apply to both juveniles and adults. We talk about them in a different way, but juveniles can be charged with the same offenses.
Is the law easier on juveniles? The law seeks a balance between the need to protect the public and the desire to give young offenders a chance to go straight.
Some teens think that, because they got off easy the first time, the law won't ever get tough. Boy, are they wrong. If you get a second chance, take it.
Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision (CINS) is an offense for which a juvenile can be placed on probation or fined, but not sent to a juvenile detention center like you see in the videos. Examples of CINS include public intoxication, truancy, running away or expulsion for violation of a school district's student code of conduct.
A Status Offense is an offense committed by a juvenile that would not be prohibited for an adult. In other words, the action would be legal if an adult did the same thing. Smoking is a good example. It is an offense because of your status as a juvenile.
Delinquent Conduct is an offense committed by a juvenile that can be punished by confinement, including any felony or jailable misdemeanor. This includes offenses that would be called crimes if they were committed by an adult.