Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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When Your Teen Breaks The Law

When teens break the law, they’re handled in a different way than a grown-up who commits the same criminal offense. The aim of the law would be to discipline the teenagers for what they’ve done, but also to provide them with an opportunity to learn from their blunders.

Often the adolescent is spoken to about the criminal offense by law enforcement, and when the adolescent confesses taking part in the criminal offense, it’s usually kept out of legal courts (if the adolescent hasn’t experienced prior trouble with the law). Rather than going to court, it’s usually dealt with in a manner in which the adolescent is responsible for repaying any damages he’s done and returning any stolen property. An apology and an explanation to the victim may also be a stipulation.

Offenses by teenagers can consist of simple things like trespassing or as severe as robbery or even worse. More severe offenses can end with the adolescent needing to appear in court. In these instances, a family group conference is generally called. This requires the mother and father, somebody that represents the law, and somebody serving as a youth advocate. The consequence for the adolescent is talked about, along with reparations and penalties. These proposals are offered to the Judge for consideration.

The individual who was the victim has a voice in the issue too. The victim is permitted to consult with the Judge to convey how the crime impacted him or his loved ones and what he would like to have specified as a consequence. His viewpoint will be taken into account by the Judge, but that doesn’t mean that the Judge will discipline the adolescent in the way that the victim has advised.

Once the matter is kept out of court, the adolescent is expected to follow the rules set down by the meeting (e.g., attending school without missing any days or being late, attending counseling meetings, working a part-time job to pay restitution, reporting to a guidance counselor weekly, etc.). The mother and father are often included in the future plans, sometimes in the form of attending family counseling sessions with the juvenile. When the adolescent does not comply, then the issue is generally taken up at court.

Juvenile courts usually have jurisdiction over matters concerning children, including delinquency, neglect, and adoption. They also handle "status offenses" such as truancy and running away, which are not applicable to adults. State statutes define which persons are under the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction in delinquency matters is 17 in most states.

Many juveniles are referred to juvenile courts by law enforcement officers, but many others are referred by school officials, social services agencies, neighbors, and even parents, for behavior or conditions that are determined to require intervention by the formal system for social control.

Whenever it becomes a courtroom issue, factors change. More stringent fees and penalties are suggested and there tend to be more serious consequences if the adolescent does not comply. In certain states, the mother and father could be held accountable for the financial part of the fine and for ensuring the adolescent attends counseling and school.

The consequences may differ based upon the crime that's committed. For a simple trespassing charge the adolescent may get just a stern warning from law enforcement and escorted home in the cop car with a warning to stay a certain distance from the crime scene. Regarding vandalism the culprit is generally required to begin some form of counseling and to repair or pay for any damages. For any more severe criminal offense like robbery the adolescent is going to be ordered to make financial restitution along with counseling, and perhaps probation.

The adolescent meets with a probation officer weekly and talks about how he has spent his time in the previous week. Occasionally the officer requires merely a telephone call once per week to determine how the juvenile is doing.

After showing that he can stay out of trouble, the adolescent’s probation is lifted and life returns to normalcy (hopefully). When the adolescent gets in trouble once again during probation, the issue is generally taken to court so a Judge can order that the adolescent be taken to a juvenile hall. Juvenile halls are a kind of jail for young, repeat offenders. They're confined in barracks and provided counseling while working to keep the hall in order. This may include cooking food, cleaning, washing bathrooms or mowing and trimming grass. Discipline is stiff, but the adolescent can earn merits towards being released with good conduct.

If your child has been charged with a crime, you definitely need a criminal law lawyer. The lawyer you retain should be one that is specifically experienced with juvenile law because juvenile law and the process of handling juveniles is a lot different than the adult criminal system.

==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents


Anonymous said...

My son has been out of control for a couple of years now. He quit high school, I kicked him out to his dads. His dad lost his job and has moved away and my son has been staying with my parent's until recently because he could not obey their rules.

He has a drinking problem, has had his car towed 3 times in less than a year and just doesn't seem to get it. I recently placed him in a motel for a week but he will soon be coming back to my home temporarily. He has been accepted into a college in New Orleans, don't know how well that will work out since he quit school but really wants to pursue filmmaking. I guess my question to you is, since I have kicked him out and he is over 18, is there any suggestions you have on getting him on the right track, losing these "so called" friends that he keeps getting into trouble with, I've thought of a chemical dependent facility but know he has to want to get help. Frustrated as I can be, he is very smart kid and would like to see him cut the partying as he will put his car into a ditch and not remember the next morning where the car is.

Anonymous said...

I hate my son, and home life is a living hell. I am now seeking employment
in rural areas for respite. My son welcomes it. (I can't believe I am
writing this).I should be excited and out shopping for xsmas gifts in hope
that I can somehow please him (as if).
Instead I find myself wondering how I can escape him today, and how I can
possibly live with myself for thinking such things.

I clearly am not coping and being a mother was not meant to be such a
misery. Is it all my fault? Did I go wrong somewhere? Is it the only child
syndrome? Is it today's world? Did I miss something in Hell be Ok, (but will

My son is everything you describe in your marketing. He has everything, yet
he has nothing. He is bright, yet he does not focus, is disruptive,
disrespectful, and does not listen. I have got"off the bridge", (does daddy
really have the time to get on it.)
Suspended twice from school (2 different ones), and about to enter a strict
boys school. (Is this the answer? or are we just moving a problem)

I'm rambling.

Anonymous said...

There have been lots of problems in our home throughout my daughters life, her dad was diagnosed with PTSD when she was 3 years old, it has been a long journey with him battling depression, an affair, abuse of alcohol, anger and agression at times and teen problems with the boys. However, through all this our lives have been mostly happy and harmonious, our boys have all moved to the city to seek work and study and are living responsible lives although somewhat haphazardly at times. They remain connected to both my husband and me, and they are loyal to our family and as they mature are more understanding of what we have all been through. I have received counselling and am united with my husband, we want to grow old together and he has agreed to allow me to monitor his mood and pull him up if he shows signs of not managing his mood/feelings. I have trust issues but Im healing although it has taken time. He will never be the same person but I have accepted that and he is a decent and caring man who would do anything for his family.

Our daughter however has been difficult for the last year, she swears, is rude, late for school or truanting, wont eat with us or what I cook and uses food as a power and control thing, stays up late at night, spends hours in front of the mirror doing her hair and obsesses over make up etc, does nothing around the house except occasionally clean her room when it is only fit for a pig, most of all she plays me off against my husband, she says she hates him and hates what he has done to the family, she wants me to leave him and take her to live in the city as she hates the outback. She says I have to choose. I have refused to so this, so she punishes me by shunning me from her life and not interacting unless she wants something. She will not let me take any photos of her and says she will leave me no memories of her. In desperation we have agreed to allow her to go to boarding school in the city, she leaves in a month, but both my husband and I are feeling so fragile, we are close to tears a lot of the time and it is affecting us as a couple. Where did we go wrong, her brothers were never this bad and certainly did not use the emotional blackmail. We have had her to doctors, dietician, psychologist and she is very clever, butter wouldnt melt in her mouth, she tells them what they want to hear and they are all happy with her progress, but she never does any of the things they suggest,(except put on weight which Im sure was her loading up with water, which brought her into the healthy weight range, problem solved!) Im sure they think Im the one with the probelm, she is so sweet. I keep taking her back and they cant see too much to complain about, she is just a teen! Well Ive already had 3 of them and she is far more difficult. Do you think your program can help? I want to change they way we interact as a family and even though she is going away, Im worried that nothing will change and the holidays will be just as stressful.

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