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What to Know About Juvenile Vandalism Charges

Vandalism is one of the more common crimes that comes up in juvenile court. It’s often an act of rebellion. However, vandalism can lead to destruction of property and expensive cleanup and repairs, which means courts will take the crime seriously.

How do courts handle vandalism by teens?

Vandalism is defined as the intentional damage of property owned by another person. Juvenile court generally does not issue as serious penalties as an adult criminal court does, but judges will still take appropriate actions to punish the offender and make sure he or she does not take part in criminal behavior again.

The juvenile will need to account for his or her actions in court. A judge will look for signs of remorse or that the youth is taking actions to atone for the activity or resolve the matter in some other way. The youth stands to minimize the sentence by showing remorse.

Juvenile courts have some leeway with sentences because of their focus on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment. Common sentences include property restoration, restitution (often through a payment plan), counseling or therapy to help the teen understand the harm caused by his or her actions. Courts may also mandate that the offender participate in a diversion program. In serious cases or those in which the juvenile does not show remorse, fines and forms of incarceration or probation are also possible.

To learn more about how juvenile courts handle vandalism charges, meet with trusted Berks County criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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