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Status Offenses

Our criminal justice system provides significant distinction between adults and minors when it comes to criminal offenses. While juveniles often enjoy protections that adults do not have, there are also offenses known as “status offenses” which apply only to minors.

Status offenses are often considered to be actions that are deemed harmful to minors. The court may pursue criminal charges against juveniles accused of committing certain status offenses, especially if the minor has been warned of such actions in the past. If your child has been wrongly charged with a status offense, contact Austin criminal attorney Ian Inglis at (512) 472-1950 today.

Common Types of Status Offenses

Common status offenses include:

  • Curfew violations
  • Underage purchase and consumption of alcohol
  • Purchase of cigarettes
  • Truancy

Such status offenses stem from the legal theory of parens patriae, in which it is considered the responsibility of the court to protect minors from actions that may be harmful to their health and future wellbeing. Juveniles facing criminal charges on status offenses may be forced to enroll in a probation program, pay fines, attend classes, and undergo other punishments required by the court. Status offenses may remain on the defendant’s criminal record for a significant amount of time, so it may be prudent to fight the charge in court.

Contact an Austin Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child has been accused of a crime, he or she has the right to a strong defense. To learn more about status offenses and defense options, contact experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis at (512) 472-1950.


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