As of November 1, 2023, most juveniles will no longer have to register as a sex offender and be eligible to seal their convictions. Law enforcement will start removing eligible people from the registry soon and mailing letters confirming they have been removed. If you receive a letter indicating that you have been removed from the registry, please contact our office for a consultation to determine if you are eligible to seal your offense.

Helping You Protect Your Future

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The possible toll of restitution debts on youthful offenders

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Juvenile offenses |

It may come as no surprise that a conviction for juvenile crimes carries serious repercussions that may continue to affect youthful offenders through various stages of their lives. While penalties such as time spent in a correctional facility and carrying a conviction on one’s record might seem like the most challenging aspects involved, for some, the financial repercussions could prove far more taxing. Recent studies indicate that restitution debts continue to haunt the lives of many youthful offenders. 

Restitution debts 

Experts indicate restitution debts may be implemented as a means of restoring the losses of victims of acts such as property damage and theft. However, studies indicate that the methods used to determine amounts for restitution debts vary substantially and there are many youths who may struggle to pay off such debts. Researchers also indicate that even when youths are able to pay portions of their debts, these payments may go to insurance companies or other entities instead of going directly to victims. 

According to recent studies, there are some concerns about the impact restitution debts might have on youthful individuals who are trying to get their lives back on track. These studies suggest that while the juvenile justice system is intended to help rehabilitate youthful offenders, the financial toll of restitution debts may only act to disrupt their lives. There are also some scenarios in which unpaid restitution debts may continue to accrue interest, and the toll such issues could take on a youth’s credit score could also prove devastating in nature. 

Where to turn 

Restitution debts remain a concern for many youthful offenders and parents in Washington who wish to protect the futures of their kids might not always know where to turn for advice on their options. When facing similar issues, a parent could consider speaking with an experienced attorney for guidance on the best course of action to take. An attorney who understands what is at stake can help provide a client with insight into all his or her available rights and options and help develop a strategy with which to safeguard the future of his or her child through the proper channels.