The teenage years are filled with exploration and the desire to become independent. Often, young people do not understand the ramifications of their actions until they are faced with the consequences. Teenagers are still developing both physically and mentally and often do not stop to think of how their behavior can impact their friends, loved ones and their communities. Vandalism falls into this category. What your teen considers harmless fun could actually result in hefty punishment.
Types of Vandalism
Vandalism is an intentional act of property damage without the consent of the owner. This is a broad definition that covers a variety of examples. Most teens do not set out with the intention of causing harm, and often commit pranks like destroying mailboxes, spray painting buildings or toilet papering neighborhoods. While the teen may not intend harm, these acts cause property damage, and the property owners are forced to clean up the mess.
The Legal Solution
Most judges seek to rehabilitate juvenile offenders, and this hinges on the offender’s behavior in court. If the teen appears remorseful and offers to supply restitution, the chances are greater that the teen will receive a reduced punishment. The judge could recommend counseling to instruct the teen in how his or her behavior negatively impacted the community and the victim, assign the offender to a community clean up or impose a fine.
Teens make mistakes. The most important thing is that they learn from their mistakes and refrain from repeating the offense. Directing your teenager can be a difficult task, but there are community resources available to you. Look for a support group, consider attending family counseling sessions or seek counsel from a trusted religious or organization leader.
If your teen has been charged with vandalism, it is normal to feel as though you have lost control. The first step you should take is to contact an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. Contact the office of Jeff Manciagli today at (404) 642-9080 or fill out a contact form to schedule your free consultation.
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