Juvenile delinquency is often the term used for children who partake in mischievous or rule-breaking acts. When the acts are of a serious criminal nature, the term juvenile offender is more commonly used. To classify under this heading, the person must be under the Age of Maturity, which is 18 in most states. In some rare instances a minor may be charged as an adult.
Common Causes Of Delinquency
There are many different social theories associated with why a minor turns to delinquent acts. However, there is not any one-specific thing that could cause a person to turn to delinquency. What researchers have found is that the following conditions often lead to delinquent acts.
- Poor School Habits. Children that are absent often from school or have difficulties while at school and are not given the attention they need to thrive, are more prone to delinquent acts. Feeling left out or left behind while at school can lead to a child not wanting to be there and finding other “things to do” instead of attending school. This habit of missing school becomes more pronounced as the children get older.
- Economic Reasons. Children who are in a home where basic necessities may be hard to come by may be more prone to delinquent behavior. This may be out of necessity, such as stealing food or clothes, or out of rebellion because the child wishes he or she had more than what they currently possess.
- Peer Pressure. Peer pressure is a very serious factor in causing delinquent acts. Children often feel a need to “fit in” with others, and if they chose the wrong crowd, they may commit acts they might not otherwise have done just so that they can keep their friends. Bullying may also fall under peer pressure. There are cases where a child is forced into completing an act out of fear for themselves. Peer pressure can be even more controlling on a child if they do not have a strong support system at home to guide them away from these “friends.”
- Substance Abuse. Whether the substance abuse is that of family members or the child has a problem, drugs and alcohol can play a large part in factors leading up to delinquent acts. When a person is under the influence of any type of drugs or alcohol their decision making process is not at its best. Additionally, addiction can lead to theft in an effort to support a habit.
- No Support System In Place. A child needs guidance in every area of their life. From schooling to decision making, a child needs to look to an adult for support and guidance. Without this support and guidance they are “on their own” to make life decisions.
Of course, there are other reasons that may have led to a child making a decision that led to a delinquent act. In the end, it does not matter what led to the problem; what matters is how to help the child who is in trouble.
When A Child Is In Trouble
Depending on what type of criminal act has been committed, a child accused of juvenile delinquency will need good legal representation. The laws are very different regarding a child who commits a criminal act, and it is important that the parent or guardian hire a criminal defense lawyer in Waukesha that is experienced and knowledgeable about juvenile defense.
The Court system handles juvenile offenders differently than it does adults. It is the belief that children should be given a greater opportunity to change the decisions they have made so that they can go into adulthood with a “clean slate.” Juvenile records are sealed for this reason and how punishment for crimes is passed down is much different than adults.
In many cases the Court system will recommend therapy or substance abuse treatments for minors who fall under this category. They may require that the child complete probation so that schooling and other issues can be verified for a period of time. Community service may be required. In some more serious cases the juvenile may be sent to a detention center.
Because these issues are so delicate, and because minors need to be handled with the most care in the Court system, compassionate legal representation is necessary. The minor deserves to be represented in a manner that allows for any punishment that is received to be in their best interest so that they can move away from this problem and become a better person with the potential for a better future.
Preventing Delinquency In Minors
While there are many reasons that delinquency can happen, the main way to prevent it now or in the future is through interaction. When you remain involved with a child they are less likely to get into any type of trouble. Every study that has been conducted on this subject matter comes back to this same fact, adult interaction is the best solution for troubled children.
If the child is having troubles in school, there are many resources that can be used to help them improve their schooling experience. If there are mental or emotional problems, or substance abuse is an issue, there are also many resources that are available to the child and their families to help resolve these issues. However, nothing can be accomplished without direct involvement and caring by an adult.
If your child has found themselves in trouble, it is important that you speak with a juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Waukesha about the circumstances surrounding the case. Your attorney can help your child build a solid defense for the actions that they are accused of and seek the best possible outcome for the case.
Your lawyer will work closely with your child, yourself and the Court system to ensure that the best interest of your child is the foremost point of any sentence that is given for the action for which they are accused.
While no outcome of a court case can be guaranteed, when you chose a defense attorney that understands the juvenile legal system, you can be guaranteed of the best possible outcome for your case.