Children and teens are bound to make mistakes, because they’re still learning the laws of the land and what they can or cannot do. It’s possible that your teen might get caught drinking and driving or exchanging drugs with another juvenile. In those cases, it is important for you to take precautions, because there is a risk that you could end up being held at least partially responsible for their actions.
Parents aren’t necessarily going to be held liable criminally for their children’s actions, but they could be held responsible in other ways. For example, if your child attacks another child and harms them, the other family may decide to sue you. It would be within their rights to pursue a claim against you, because your child is still under your care and a minor.
When can parents be held liable for their children’s actions?
Almost always, but not always. If the other parties involved can show that you knew about your child’s behaviors or encouraged them to break the law, then there is a risk that you could be held liable civilly or, in some cases, criminally. For example, if you gave your child alcohol at home and they then went out and drove drunk, you could be accused of providing alcohol to a minor or child endangerment. You could also be held liable for any damages caused.
A good understanding of the law can help
It is important for you to have a good understanding of the law and how it applies in the specific case you’re facing. The likelihood of facing criminal or civil penalties may depend on what happened and why your child was involved in a negative act.
When you work with your attorney, their first priority will be to protect your child and your best interests. That includes looking into the case to see if charges and penalties can be lowered or dropped, making it easier for you all to move forward. Depending on the situation, your attorney may have a number of options to prevent you from being held liable for your child’s actions.