Juveniles, Graffiti, and the Laws

Many teens consider graffiti a work of art and while it may certainly have a message to say, it’s also a criminal offense known as vandalism, if graffiti art is placed on property that you do not own. Juveniles oftentimes find themselves facing a vandalism charge for the offense of graffiti. In such a case, it’s imperative to speak to fairfax lawyers for help.

A graffiti charge is a misdemeanor offense, but still carries severe penalties if convicted, even for a juvenile. Penalties for such a charge vary, with factors such as the juvenile’s age, the seriousness of the offense, and the juvenile’s prior record influencing the outcome of the case. When a lawyer represents a juvenile, they get a fair shot in court, something not always possible without an attorney present.

Possible consequences for a juvenile convicted of a vandalism/graffiti charge include:

·    Fines: Courts impose fines on juvenile cases when found guilty of the criminal act of vandalism. Fines range in costs but can be as much as $500 for a simple act of vandalism and much more for more serious acts.

·    Restitution: A teen convicted of vandalism may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the property owner. Restitution is an amount of money needed to repair or replace the item that the teen vandalized.

·    Probation: Courts may place a juvenile on probation for a term of no less than 12-months. The juvenile must abide by all rules of probation, which includes attending school regularly, maintain employment, obey parents, and/or attending counseling.

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·    Detention: In severe vandalism cases, or in cases where the juvenile has a lengthy criminal record, a judge may place the juvenile into the custody of the state for an indefinite period of time.

Talk to a lawyer to keep your teen secure after a vandalism charge.