Vandalism is the act of purposely damaging another person’s property. When an underage person commits this crime, it is juvenile vandalism. The consequences of this crime affect both the juvenile offender and the parents.
There were 30,600 juvenile arrests for vandalism in 2018. Depending on how much damage occurred, a juvenile may face time in a detention center. There are severe repercussions for committing this act.
If the repairs for the damage caused are worth less than $400, then the charges are likely to be a misdemeanor. However, in cases where the damage is worth over $400, the prosecutor may choose to pursue a felony charge.
The juvenile system handles cases for anyone under 18 years old who commits vandalism. The judge may institute several penalties. These may include paying fines up to $500, serving up to 12 months of probation, staying in a detention center or paying restitution.
The person who owned the damaged property may also fight to have financial losses covered. If the person has evidence to show that the offense led to a financial loss, he or she may have a case. In situations where a person does not receive court-ordered restitution, one may attempt to receive payment through civil court. However, one may only receive restitution through criminal or civil court, not both.
When someone under 18 years of age commits vandalism, the court may require that the youth maintain employment to pay restitution. In other situations, a parent may be responsible to pay the restitution, if the child is unable to. However, there are usually limitations on the parents’ liability.
If a court requires a juvenile to serve time in a juvenile detention center, it is usually for a more severe case of vandalism or a repeat offender. The court may require the juvenile to live at a center or stay on weekends for a stipulated length of time.