When an adult is arrested for violations of the law, he or she will face criminal charges. Minors also face legal consequences for these violations, but they are referred to as delinquent acts rather than crimes. A minor who has committed an act that violates Washington state law is therefore considered a juvenile delinquent.
There are two types of delinquent acts. A status offense is a delinquent act that would not be considered a crime if it involved an adult. Things like alcohol possession, truancy or violating local curfews are all types of status offenses as they are contingent upon the age of the person committing the act.
The other type of delinquent act is one that is also considered a crime when it involves an adult. Depending on how serious the offense is, a minor could even be moved out of juvenile court to be tried as an adult. Most teens and parents would prefer for their children to face consequences in juvenile court, but it is important to note that parents may be required to cover court costs for juvenile delinquents.
It would probably be hard to find an adult who did not make at least one big mistake during while growing up. These mistakes often serve as valuable learning opportunities, but they can also have serious consequences and may lead to being deemed a juvenile delinquent. Since teenagers still have their whole lives and plenty of opportunities ahead of them, many parents choose to seek help from a compassionate attortney who has a thorough understanding of Washington state juvenile law.