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What should you expect when your teen is charged with a crime?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

As the parent of an adolescent, you know that even obedient, good-hearted kids can make some dumb mistakes. Young people are particularly susceptible to unacceptable behavior when they are under stress in some way. Perhaps you and your spouse are going through a divorce or your job is adding pressure to your home life.

Another important factor in young people acting out is peer pressure. Teenagers are often lured or forced into illegal acts to impress others or earn acceptance. Once the police intervene, however, the consequences of childish behavior can be significant.

What are teenagers most often charged with in Wisconsin?

Adolescent charges are a confluence of criminal law and family law. Some of the more common charges filed against adolescents include:

  • Underage drinking. The state prohibits alcohol consumption for anyone under 21.
  • This involves additional dangers and potential charges involving automobiles.
  • This includes shoplifting.
  • Destruction of property, including vandalism
  • Physical assault. Young men may not realize fighting is not only dangerous but illegal.

How does Wisconsin treat juvenile offenders?

In general, the state of Wisconsin works to rehabilitate young offenders. The state typically regards them as children. However, under certain conditions, the court tries them as adults, in which case they face the same consequences as an adult.

Wisconsin has a fairly rigid system of dealing with youthful offenders under the state’s Juvenile Justice Code. While judges have some leeway in determining how to treat adolescents, some offenses automatically result in a trial as an adult.

Whether stressed or just beguiled, it is important for teenagers to understand the possible consequences of illegal activities.