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.

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Juvenile crime often occurs after trouble at home

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Juvenile offenses |

Parenting and family life are complex topics that are relevant to different people in different ways. If you’re one of many Washington parents who have experienced turmoil in your household in recent years, you are not alone in your struggle. Many families have encountered similar challenges. If you also happen to be a parent whose child has faced charges for a juvenile crime, there are many other parents who can relate to your circumstances.  

Even the most stable home environments can become unstable when a family crisis hits. Perhaps a set of parents are having some marital problems, or a parent has lost a job. Maybe there has been a medical emergency or one of the kids is struggling in school. Other issues, such as experimental drug or alcohol use, smoking, vaping, etc., can all take a toll on family life. In many cases, kids will act out in response to stress in their family life.  

Juvenile crime data sheds light on family issues 

Data shows that juvenile crime is high in areas where there are many households without fathers. That’s not to say that kids who come from homes with both parents present never commit crimes or get in trouble. Any number of issues can influence a teenager’s decisions, such as who they hang out with, where they go and what activities they choose to participate in.  

Think of the many adults who develop gambling problems or alcohol or drug addictions in response to stress in their work or private lives. Teenagers are no different. They often respond to family stress (real or perceived) by acting in a negative manner, perhaps even with aggression or violence.  

Life issues that can be stressful for kids 

Financial problems in the home, a divorce, relocating to a new home or school, learning disabilities, trouble making friends and many other everyday life issues can spark negative behavior in a child. If your son or daughter faces accusations for a juvenile crime, social services will be involved in the adjudication process.  

The court may assign a social worker to your family to discuss any problems you may be having at home or issues that you believe may have influenced your son’s or daughter’s actions.  

Parents can only do their best to provide a safe and loving environment for their children and to guide them to become productive citizens in their community. If your child is facing legal problems, there are resources available to help you achieve the best possible outcome, including counseling for your child or your whole family, if needed.